Krohn letter was distorted

February 9, 2013

John Krohn’s letter in the Feb. 5 edition of the Observer-Reporter criticized Candy DeBerry’s letter on the health and environmental effects of drilling and fracking. His letter was distorted in so many ways that it’s hard to know where to begin a response to it. An afternoon’s research led to the following findings:

First, Krohn is the communications director for Energy in Depth (EID). According to PRWatch, EID is a front group launched by global gas companies in order to fight a public relations battle against new environmental protections on fracking. A leaked internal memo obtained by reveals that EID is funded by corporations such as Shell, BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Schlumberger, Halliburton and others.

Second, Krohn questions the credibility of industry critics and urges us instead to pay heed to the statements of respected academics like Mark Zoback, professor of geophysics at Stanford and a member of a governmental panel to study fracking. He says that “people have been paranoid (about fracking), really for no reason”. However, according to the Environmental Working Group, Zoback is a senior advisor to Baker Hughes, an oil and gasfield services company engaged in fracking. He is also chair of GeoMechanics, a consulting firm that advises on drilling problems. I guess you would have to say that this fellow isn’t exactly a disinterested participant in this debate.

Third, Krohn quotes outgoing Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar extolling the virtues of fracking. Krohn describes Salazar as a lifelong conservationist, which is one of the more bizarre and inaccurate things I’ve ever heard about him. Counterpunch, the online political newsletter, has written extensively about Salazar for years. He was a big rancher from Colorado who fought against endangered species, and he is pro-strip mining, logging and offshore drilling. Some conservationist!

Fourth, according to Krohn, some people are in hysterics over gas drilling because of money and misinformation coming from renewable energy supporters. Even if true, that’s rich coming from someone financially supported by global oil and gas corporations who are determined to force their profit-driven, resource-gouging world view on the rest of us.

Finally, according to SourceWatch, Shell, one of EID’s biggest backers, bought East Resources in 2010, a company with extensive gas holdings in Pennsylvania. Top East Resources executives gave $360,000 to Tom Corbett’s 2010 campaign for governor. Corbett plans to give Shell $1.6 billion in taxpayer-funded subsidies to locate in Pennsylvania. Now that’s interesting, isn’t it?

Robert Hanham



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