Delaware Riverkeeper Launches Anti-Fracking Ad Nationally

The anti-drilling Delaware Riverkeeper has launched a new anti-gas ad airing on Lifetime, MSNBC, CNBC, and FOX News. Yes, Fox News too. No doubt using the deep pockets of Hollywood types (like Mark Ruffalo) and money from billionaires (like the lefty George Soros), the ad tries to turn up the fear factor on gas drilling and smear the miracle of hydraulic fracturing. Perhaps you’ve seen the new ad? MDN editor Jim Willis watched it online here (he kicked the time-wasting TV habit years ago).

MDN notices that some lazy (obedient?) news outlets have picked up the Riverkeeper press release and printed it word for word as actual news, not even bothering to identify it as a biased press release (like the Hunterdon County Democrat).

Here’s the press release as issued by Riverkeeper (and as found in the Hunterdon County Democrat):

For years, when the public heard about natural gas drilling and fracking, it was likely that they did so from the oil and gas industry through the ad campaigns of Exxon and Chesapeake, and industry lobbying groups like American Petroleum Institute, American Natural Gas Alliance and the Marcellus Shale Coalition. When it came to the TV airwaves, industry has enjoyed a virtual monopoly with campaigns that overwhelm solid, objective news reporting that critically analyzes the claims of industry.

Today, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN) seeks to break the advertising monopoly with a thirty second TV ad which starts tonight on LIFETIME, MSNBC, CNBC, and FOX NEWS.

“Gas industry television ads have been increasing, spreading a false picture of shale gas drilling, fracking, and the effect they have on local communities. Our ad is intended to bring balance to the picture,” says Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper. “The gas industry ads are ubiquitous and relentless. Our goal is to take on the misinformation campaign of the industry and to engage the public with the facts they need to know to protect themselves and their families,” continued van Rossum.

“The public needs to know that: hydraulic fracturing and other methods to extract gas from tight geologic formations such as shale cause inevitable pollution, both short term and long term to groundwater; even the best management practices available today will not protect communities, public health and the environment; and industry’s own documents show this to be true”, said van Rossum. “Further, the toxic waste products produced and the lack of available technology to clean it, the land clearing, tremendous truck traffic, and air pollution cause inevitable degradation that is difficult and in many cases impossible to remediate”, concluded van Rossum.

Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s TV ad exposes the intractable problems of pollution from shale gas extraction processes and invites the viewer to learn more and get involved on the issue. The ad links to DRN’s dedicated website where the TV ad can be seen and action alerts and further information is available.

“We don’t have millions of dollars like the industry does: given our limited resources, some may be surprised that we would spend some of it on FOX,” said van Rossum. “But we feel this is an issue that transcends party and ideological lines since it affects clean drinking water and the health of our communities. We are serious about engaging the public, all the public. We want to open the debate up wide to involve everyone. We all have a right to this information and everyone needs to know what’s going on,” concluded van Rossum.*

*Delaware Riverkeeper Network (Jun 26, 2012) – Delaware Riverkeeper Network Launches Public Service Awareness Ad on cable television to engage the public on the threats posed by fracking (PDF)

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