Is Facebook the answer to quelling public angst about fracking?
According to this disturbing, must-read, headshake-inducing article, some seemingly smart people seem to think so. And they could not be more wrong.
At an industry event this week, Reaganesque messaging (already ubiquitous from industry) and heavy use of social media were identified by advertising executives and communications pros as key tools in winning over the majority of Americans to the benefits of fracking. And as usual, Pennsylvania was mentioned prominently as a source of "intense passions" that characterize the issue.
But can the gas industry really tweet its way to drilling nirvana?
There is far too much hyperbole on all sides of the series of monologues that define the current, sorry state of public conversation about fracking; indeed about energy policy generally. Proponents and opponents of fracking are equally to blame. There is obviously more than a little hubris at work in industry. But let’s hope the industry is – or quickly becomes - smarter that their consulted flaks are.
Saying the right things is not the same as doing them. Sincerity is subject to proof. And that proof of the gas industry’s net benefit to society – much of it yet unrealized, and yet to be fully measured against fully-understood costs - will come only in the doing – which includes a willing embrace of the rules that ensure it.