In exploration of hydrofracking industry, reporter finds chilling truths

On behalf of Rock Palermo of Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC posted in Oil and Gas on February 16, 2013.

Esquire magazine might be better-known to Lake Charles residents for its fashion spreads and celebrity interviews, but in addition to those things, it actually does produce some excellent journalism.

Recently, one of its reporters set out to explore the hydrofracking industry. What he found could be considered shocking. As attorneys who regularly assist clients who feel they have been mistreated by the oil and gas industry, much of what is in this article is sadly familiar to us, but it is still a provocative piece of reporting that is nonetheless worth reading.

To sum up the long article, the writer found that hydrofracking is proceeding countrywide - in states like Pennsylvania, New York, North Dakota and West Virginia, to say nothing of Louisiana - at a breakneck pace because oil and gas companies want to take advantage of economic opportunities before state legislatures can act on constituent concerns and pass laws limiting or prohibiting hydrofracking.

Among the people interviewed are citizens who express to him frustration that their concerns are not being heard. It seems many of them feel outgunned by the well-financed, professionally staffed lobbying arms of oil and gas industry.

The reporter also discusses the allure that oil and gas companies pitch to landowners and government officials: "Oil companies promise jobs, energy and money." In these troubled economic times, that pitch is indeed a siren's song and many communities that are strapped for jobs and economic activity have given in.

What's disturbing and interesting in equal measure is how oil and gas companies tried to "sell" hydrofracking to the reporter, calling it safer and cleaner than coal and denying that concerning amounts of methane are released in the process and that local drinking water supplies are put at risk.

As we said, in our line of work, we come into contact with much of what is discussed in this piece. We're glad that national media outlets are starting to pay attention, and we hope people everywhere become better informed about and engaged in the debate over hydrofracking.

Source: Esquire, "Thank you for Fracking," Tom Chiarella, Dec. 17, 2012

Tags: Oil and Gas

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