Quantcast

Energy in Depth Goes Undercover at Fracking Rally

Energy

Earthworks

By Blair Koch

Energy in Depth staff geologist Dana Bohan (left) claimed to be a reporter while talking to Tina Fisher, of New Plymouth, Idaho, at the Stop the Frack Attack rally in Washingto, DC in July.

It's no surprise the gas industry doesn't care for Focus Feature's new movie Promised Land.

Even prior to its Jan. 4 nationwide release, the drilling industry was planning its attack on the script, written by Matt Damon and co-star John Krasinski and based on a story by Dave Eggers.

In an interview earlier this year journalist and filmmaker Phelim McAleer tried to cast doubt on the edgy plot twist where Krasinski's character, Dustin Noble, an eco-activist, turns out to be working under cover for the very same company which employees Steve, the landman played by Damon.

The industry would try and have you believe they would never misrepresent who they are, that they would never go under cover for their own benefit.

Except they do.

On July 28, Tina Fisher, of New Plymouth, Idaho, was approached by a woman claiming to be learning more about natural gas development and why people had traveled near and far to attend the day's Stop the Frack Attack rally on the Capitol's West Lawn.

With her long brunette curls pulled into a casual pony tail and a "Ban Fracking Now" sticker affixed to her t-shirt, she looked like many on the sprawling green. In one hand she held anti-fracking and Stop the Frack Attack rally memorabilia and in the other hand, a camcorder.

Fisher spoke on the record with the reporter. At the time, legislators had passed sweeping new laws setting the stage for oil and gas development in Idaho. Today, Fisher can see what is one of Idaho's first gas wells flaring less than a mile from her home.

"I feel disgusted and distressed," Fisher said about Idaho's burgeoning oil and gas industry.

She feels the same about being misled about who was interviewing her back in July. Instead of talking with an independent blogger, Fisher was recorded by Energy in Depth staff geologist Dana Bohan.

Energy in Depth is the pro-oil-and-gas front group, that in early 2011 DeSmogBlog reported had been created with the financial backing of several major industry players to respond to what it saw as attacks.

"If they work for the industry, they should say who they are," Fisher said.

I traveled with Fisher and fellow Idahoan Alma Hasse to Stop the Frack Attack rally and chatted with Bohan after their interaction. I told Bohan I looked forward to seeing her blog when I got back to Idaho and would follow up via the email address she had provided.

When she didn't respond I grew suspicious. After a little bit of research online, I quickly tracked her down to Energy in Depth's main Washington D.C. office and picked up the phone.

Bohan didn't identify the organization she was with because she, "wanted to talk with people without polarizing the situation."

"I was just out and gathering information and interested to see what people were talking about. You know that's part of our job, seeing, to know what people are saying on both sides of the aisle and what's going on ... I just wanted to gather general intel and have an open dialogue with people and I think that's what we achieved," Bohan said.

Bohan is no Dustin Noble but her actions were "under cover" just the same.

Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.

——–

Sign the petition today, telling President Obama to enact an immediate fracking moratorium:

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter


georgeclerk / E+ / Getty Images

By Jennifer Molidor

One million species are at risk of extinction from human activity, warns a recent study by scientists with the United Nations. We need to cut greenhouse gas pollution across all sectors to avoid catastrophic climate change — and we need to do it fast, said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

This research should serve as a rallying cry for polluting industries to make major changes now. Yet the agriculture industry continues to lag behind.

Read More Show Less
Edwin Remsburg / VW Pics / Getty Images

Botswana, home to one third of Africa's elephants, announced Wednesday that it was lifting its ban on the hunting of the large mammals.

"The Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism wishes to inform the public that following extensive consultations with all stakeholders, the Government of Botswana has taken a decision to lift the hunting suspension," the government announced in a press release shared on social media.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pxhere

By Richard Denison

Readers of this blog know how concerned EDF is over the Trump EPA's approval of many dozens of new chemicals based on its mere "expectation" that workers across supply chains will always employ personal protective equipment (PPE) just because it is recommended in the manufacturer's non-binding safety data sheet (SDS).

Read More Show Less
De Molen windmill and nuclear power plant cooling tower in Doel, Belgium. Trougnouf / CC BY-SA 4.0

By Grant Smith

From 2009 to 2012, Gregory Jaczko was chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which approves nuclear power plant designs and sets safety standards for plants. But he now says that nuclear power is too dangerous and expensive — and not part of the answer to the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
A lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. Brett Walton / Circle of Blue

By Brett Walton

When Greg Wetherbee sat in front of the microscope recently, he was looking for fragments of metals or coal, particles that might indicate the source of airborne nitrogen pollution in Rocky Mountain National Park. What caught his eye, though, were the plastics.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Gabriele Holtermann Gorden / Pacific Press / LightRocket / Getty Images

In a big victory for animals, Prada has announced that it's ending its use of fur! It joins Coach, Jean Paul Gaultier, Giorgio Armani, Versace, Ralph Lauren, Vivienne Westwood, Michael Kors, Donna Karan and many others PETA has pushed toward a ban.

This is a victory more than a decade in the making. PETA and our international affiliates have crashed Prada's catwalks with anti-fur signs, held eye-catching demonstrations all around the world, and sent the company loads of information about the fur industry. In 2018, actor and animal rights advocate Pamela Anderson sent a letter on PETA's behalf urging Miuccia Prada to commit to leaving fur out of all future collections, and the iconic designer has finally listened.

Read More Show Less
Amer Ghazzal / Barcroft Media / Getty Images

If people in three European countries want to fight the climate crisis, they need to chill out more.

That's the conclusion of a new study from think tank Autonomy, which found that Germany, the UK and Sweden all needed to drastically reduce their workweeks to fight climate change.

"The rapid pace of labour-saving technology brings into focus the possibility of a shorter working week for all, if deployed properly," Autonomy Director Will Stronge said, The Guardian reported. "However, while automation shows that less work is technically possible, the urgent pressures on the environment and on our available carbon budget show that reducing the working week is in fact necessary."

The report found that if the economies of Germany, Sweden and the UK maintain their current levels of carbon intensity and productivity, they would need to switch to a six, 12 and nine hour work week respectively if they wanted keep the rise in global temperatures to the below two degrees Celsius promised by the Paris agreement, The Independent reported.

The study based its conclusions on data from the UN and the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) on greenhouse gas emissions per industry in all three countries.

The report comes as the group Momentum called on the UK's Labour Party to endorse a four-day work week.

"We welcome this attempt by Autonomy to grapple with the very real changes society will need to make in order to live within the limits of the planet," Emma Williams of the Four Day Week campaign said in a statement reported by The Independent. "In addition to improved well-being, enhanced gender equality and increased productivity, addressing climate change is another compelling reason we should all be working less."

Supporters of the idea linked it to calls in the U.S. and Europe for a Green New Deal that would decarbonize the economy while promoting equality and well-being.

"This new paper from Autonomy is a thought experiment that should give policymakers, activists and campaigners more ballast to make the case that a Green New Deal is absolutely necessary," Common Wealth think tank Director Mat Lawrence told The Independent. "The link between working time and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions has been proved by a number of studies. Using OECD data and relating it to our carbon budget, Autonomy have taken the step to show what that link means in terms of our working weeks."

Stronge also linked his report to calls for a Green New Deal.

"Becoming a green, sustainable society will require a number of strategies – a shorter working week being just one of them," he said, according to The Guardian. "This paper and the other nascent research in the field should give us plenty of food for thought when we consider how urgent a Green New Deal is and what it should look like."

Amazon Employees for Climate Justice held a press conference after the annual shareholder meeting on May 22. Amazon Employees for Climate Justice

Amazon shareholders voted down an employee-backed resolution calling for more aggressive action on climate change at their annual meeting Wednesday, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Read More Show Less