Gas Fracking Industry Using Military Psychological Warfare Tactics and Personnel In U.S. Communities

Wed, 2011-11-09 13:12Brendan DeMelle
Brendan DeMelle's picture

Gas Fracking Industry Using Military Psychological Warfare Tactics and Personnel In U.S. Communities

At the “Media & Stakeholder Relations: Hydraulic Fracturing Initiative 2011” conference last week in Houston, Matt Pitzarella, Director of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs at Range Resources, revealed in his presentation that Range has hired Army and Marine veterans with combat experience in psychological warfare to influence communities in which Range drills for gas.  

As CNBC reported, Range spokesman Matt Pitzarella boasted to the audience:

[“…looking to other industries, in this case, the Army and the Marines. We have several former PSYOPs folks that work for us at Range because they’re very comfortable in dealing with localized issues and local governments. Really all they do is spend most of their time helping folks develop local ordinances and things like that. But very much having that understanding of PSYOPs in the Army and in the Middle East has applied very helpfully here for us in Pennsylvania.”
[**Listen: MP3**]

At that same conference, Matt Carmichael, External Affairs Manager at Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, suggested three things to attendees during his presentation:

If you are a PR representative in this industry in this room today, I recommend you do three things. These are three things that I’ve read recently that are pretty interesting.

(1) Download the U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Manual [audible gasps from the audience], because we are dealing with an insurgency. There’s a lot of good lessons in there, and coming from a military background, I found the insight in that extremely remarkable. (2) With that said, there’s a course provided by Harvard and MIT twice a year, and it’s called ‘Dealing With an Angry Public.’ Take that course. Tied back to the Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency [Field] Manual, is that a lot of the officers in our military are attending this course. It gives you the tools, it gives you the media tools on how to deal with a lot of the controversy that we as an industry are dealing with. (3) Thirdly, I have a copy of “Rumsfeld's Rules.” You’re all familiar with Donald Rumsfeld – that’s kind of my bible, by the way, of how I operate.”
[**Listen: MP3**]

Carmichael is also the former Senior Manager of External Communications for Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR), a subsidiary of Halliburton, which at one point had over 15,000 mercenaries placed in Iraq, according to the Los Angeles Times.  

The Counterinsurgency (COIN) Field Manual [PDF] devotes an entire chapter to PSYOPs, confirming its utility as a major element of a counterinsurgency campaign. The COIN manual is the current U.S. military doctrine in both Iraq and Afghanistan. 

USE OF PSYOPs PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE ON U.S. CITIZENS IS ILLEGAL

PSYOPs is the military short-hand for “psychological operations,” used extensively in U.S. wars abroad, including in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Much of this work is carried out by Army reserve personnel, who travel from village to village dropping leaflets and offering financial incentives in an attempt to convince residents not to support the insurgency.  This often entails using psychological tactics to “win hearts and minds.”

As the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported about PSYOPs in Iraq:

“…reservists in psychological operations typically do communications with the local folks. In the beginning, they distribute millions of leaflets and do loudspeaker broadcasts. They also spend a lot of time talking with people.”

The use of PSYOPs by active military personnel on U.S. citizens is illegal and a violation of the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948, as Michael Hastings of Rolling Stone explained in his February 2011 investigative story uncovering the fact that U.S. military generals had used PSYOPs on members of Congress. The Smith-Mundt act “was passed by Congress to prevent the State Department from using Soviet-style propaganda techniques on U.S. citizens.”

Hastings wrote in Rolling Stone:

According to the Defense Department’s own definition, psy-ops – the use of propaganda and psychological tactics to influence emotions and behaviors – are supposed to be used exclusively on “hostile foreign groups.” Federal law forbids the military from practicing psy-ops on Americans, and each defense authorization bill comes with a “propaganda rider” that also prohibits such manipulation. “Everyone in the psy-ops, intel, and IO community knows you’re not supposed to target Americans,” says a veteran member of another psy-ops team who has run operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. “It’s what you learn on day one.” (emphasis added)
  

JAMES CANNON - RANGE PSYOPS SPECIALIST IN PA

Range's dominance in the Marcellus fracked gas rush is hardly surprising - Range Resources was the first company to begin drilling for unconventional gas in the Marcellus Shale, back in 2004. Range says on its website that “In 2011, Range is directing 86% of its capital budget toward development drilling in the region.”  

It certainly has every reason to protect that investment, but hiring an Army PSYOPs specialist?

Range Resources’ Local Government Relations Manager in Pennsylvania is James Cannon, a former Marine and Army Reservist whose unit conducted PSYOPs during Operation Iraqi Freedom. According to his personal website and LinkedIn page, Jim Cannon says he is still an active reservist with the 303rd Psychological Operations Company, who served under the US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.   

One of his colleagues in the 303rd Psychological Operations Company discussed the unit's PSYOP experiences in Iraq in April 2003. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported, “Since October [2003], a massive public information campaign has been under way in Iraq. American and British planes have dropped 36 million leaflets in Iraq. They have distributed scores of solar-powered and hand-crank short wave radios with instructions for tuning in to Arabic-language broadcasts that urge cooperation with coalition troops. Trucks with loudspeakers have been used to spread the message that America is in Iraq to liberate, not to occupy the nation.” 

What if the same techniques that the Army used to weaken the insurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan are being used by the gas industry to intimidate U.S. citizens in Pennsylvania? Of course they wouldn't need the Black Hawk helicopters, the U.S. Postal Service can drop letters just fine. But the tactics of using financial incentives and disseminating propaganda designed to pit neighbor against neighbor?

Jim Cannon's company Range Resources has deployed these PSYOP-inspired tactics in Pennsylvania, sending threatening letters to the citizens of Mt. Pleasant Township in hopes of dividing the community, and attempting to sway the township supervisors to do industry’s bidding.

As best documented by This American Life, Range has sent threatening letters to residents of Mount Pleasant, PA, where citizens were concerned about the impacts of natural gas drilling on their community. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette also covered the Range Resources letters controversy, and included PDFs of the actual letters sent by Range to Mt. Pleasant residents. 

The first letter, sent in April 2011 to all Mt. Pleasant Township residents [PDF], used a ‘winning hearts and minds’ style approach, touting the company’s local investments:

“Over those years, we have become a part of your community. From millions of dollars in corporate giving to tax-free road improvements, Range has strived to be a good neighbor and community partner.”

Range sent a second letter around the same time, but only to property owners with gas leases. It appears to seek to divide the community, by threatening that the company might pull out of the town if it didn’t get its way, essentially striking fear into residents that such a decision would hurt their lease income and encouraging them to pressure local leaders to keep Range happy. The second letter [PDF] states:

Throughout the state, Range is held up as the model for the natural gas drilling industry; everywhere, that is, except Mt. Pleasant. While we have made every effort to establish a positive and robust working relationship with your elected officials, our attempts continue to be rejected. As a result, we are sending this communication to inform you that we have revised our future long-term plans in the Township due to continuing difficulties with your Township supervisors and their unwillingness to work with us. As it stands, those revisions may prove detrimental to leaseholders.

Ultimately we may be forced to shift activity to other, more cooperative townships.The shifting of operational activities will inevitably result in the shift of related activities, including the purchase of goods, services and food to other, more cooperative communities.”

At issue was the company’s distaste for a local ordinance banning temporary housing, which blocked Range from erecting bunkhouses at drill sites for its employees. Matt Pitzarella suggested the company might sue or leave the town.

“If the township continues to push this issue, we may have to challenge it in court or walk away,” Mr. Pitzarella told the Post-Gazette.

Range’s aggressive pressure tactics created a backlash in the community, as the Post-Gazette story reported:

“We are outraged,” said Dencil Bachus, a Mount Pleasant resident and coordinator of a citizens committee that advised the township on the Marcellus ordinance. “This is an effort by Range Resources to divide a community on the eve of a decision on an ordinance that affects them directly. It's an attempt by the company to get what they want rather than operate within the [township government] process. It's a divide-and-conquer public relations strategy.”

Other area residents have also experienced Range’s intimidation tactics first hand. Ron Gullah, Hickory resident whose pond was contaminated near a Range drilling operation, says, 

Range Resources operates on intimidation. They have intimidated everyone and have taken advantage of this rural area.” 

Another Mt. Pleasant resident, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal, told DeSmogBlog that:

“What’s going on here, it’s kinda like Love Canal. The intimidation from these corporations is astounding to me. I don’t know how they’re allowed to get away with it. I’d like to see them get nailed.” 
 

OTHER POSSIBLE EXAMPLES OF PSYOPs-INSPIRED INTIMIDATION

One indicator of PSYOPs type behavior by the gas industry occurred in April 2011, when an Ohio woman found a binder in her driveway, “Talking Points for Selling Oil and Gas Lease Rights.” The source of the document was never identified, so its authenticity is not confirmed, however the manipulative techniques mentioned in the binder are consistent with PSYOPS tactics. 

The focal point of a well-run PSYOPs campaign is to reward those who go along with the mission, and punish those who do not. Other “winning hearts and minds” PSYOP-like tactics include industry sponsorship of county fairssponsorship of child domestic abuse centers, and donating money to other community projects.  

This all comes roughly a year after the Pennsylvania Department of Homeland Security, then headed by James Powers, a man with three decades of military experience and formerly a professor at the Joint Special Operations University and the U.S. Army War College, was caught spying on anti-fracking activists, via an Israel-based private security firm called the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response

HOW WIDESPREAD IS THIS PRACTICE IN THE GAS INDUSTRY?

According to a March 2011 story appearing in the Pittsburgh Business Times, Range Resources “estimates that veterans account for about 10 percent of its employees.” That is an impressive statistic, and many of the skills learned in the military would naturally come in handy in oil and gas operations. However, legitimate questions arise when companies like Range Resources tout their hiring of military PSYOPs specialists to deploy these tactics on American citizens.

Is Range the only industry player deploying veterans with PSYOPs experience, and using these propaganda techniques in U.S. communities? The company’s leadership role in the Marcellus Shale fracking industry suggests that this practice is likely more widespread.

A November 2010 press release from the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC), a Pennsylvania lobbying association that promotes unconventional gas development, shows that scores of veterans now work for the natural gas industry, at corporations ranging from Chesapeake Energy, Anadarko, Atlas Energy, and more. The Coalition includes Exxon (XTO), Shell, Statoil, Halliburton, Chesapeake, and others.

The Chairman of the Marcellus Shale Coalition is Ray Walker, Senior Vice President of Range Resources. Walker's Range colleague Matt Pitzerella chairs MSC's communications Subcommittee, and also is sub-chairman of America's Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA), another major gas industry PR outfit promoting fracking and unconventional gas development.    

Has Range promoted the use of PSYOPs to these other companies? Do the Marcellus Shale Coalition and ANGA officially sanction its use? 

RANGE AND THE GAS INDUSTRY PROMISE TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN PUBLIC, BUT DOES THIS PSYOPS ACTIVITY MEET THAT PROMISE?

Engaging in PSYOPs runs contrary to the promises that Range Resources makes to the public about the company’s behavior.

For example, Matt Pitzarella, in a September 2011 interview, stated, “We need to engage, communicate, be transparent, accessible and accountable.” 

John Pinkerton, CEO of Range Resources stated in a June 2011 press release, “Along with all of Range's employees, management team and Board of Directors, we have established a strong culture at Range based on integrity, transparency, performance and teamwork.” (emphasis added)

Range alleges that it complies with all laws, without exception:

It is the policy of Range that we will conduct business in accordance with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, as well as applicable laws and regulations of foreign jurisdictions, and in a manner that will always reflect a high standard of ethics,” reads their Code of Business Conduct and Ethics. “The laws and regulations applicable to Range are far reaching and complex. Compliance with the law does not comprise our entire ethical responsibility; rather, it is a minimum, essential condition for performance of our duties.” 

It also has stated a commitment [PDF] to “continuously improve our practices and seek transparency in our operations” and that it is “committed to being responsible members of the communities in which we work,” in an October 2011 Company Presentation. Furthermore, it has stated, “[W]e can make a better way of life for all Pennsylvanians. At the same time, we remain dedicated to enhancing the environment and communities we all call home.”  

In one document, Range states, “As one of America’s leading natural gas producers, we are committed to responsibly develop this resource and to being open, honest and transparent.” 

Range’s rhetoric is admirable, but does it match the reality of its practices? It appears that Range’s use of psychological warfare tactics on U.S. citizens may mean that it is violating the Smith-Mundt Act.

One has to wonder, though, how frequently and to what depth are these immoral tactics being used by the gas industry on American citizens? It is certainly worthy of an in-depth examination.

Additional Reporting by DeSmogBlog Research Fellow Steve Horn

**Sharon Wilson with the Oil and Gas Accountability Project at EarthWorks attended the conference and recorded the audio.  We're especially grateful that Sharon - who also blogs at TexasSharon.com - documented this, since DeSmogBlog's own Steve Horn was out in the hallway after his own entry was denied the morning of the conference. Steve was granted a press pass to cover the event weeks earlier, but after flying all the way from Wisconsin to cover the conference, Steve received last-minute notice that he wasn't welcome. He eventually convinced the conference organizers to let him in later that day. Stay tuned for more news about what happened at the conference in the days and weeks to come.

Comments

Brenden, I’m beginning to see why you’re so worried about Fracking.

I read the ‘talking points’ pdf, and it doesn’t look illegal to me.  It looks like standard slimy sales techniques, not much different than a telemarketer.

I don’t generally respond to unsolicited requests.  (If I want something, I go look for it.)

My advice to anyone on the receiving end of someone knocking on your door, is to get their card and do a lot of research.

If you think there is something up, go around the community and point out the issues you feel strongly about.

If it gets tough act like a climate denier.  Point out no facts, and simply argue until you are blue in the face.  If it looks like they may try to follow your arguement, change the subject.  Remember, these guys don’t want a fight anymore than you do.  Make it hard for them.  Get a bunch of friends and family to show up at a meeting with pitch forks and shovels.  Just get them to stand around outside…

I would not act like anything or play such games with these people. They are professionals and they are representing an energy company with lawyers on staff. My advice is anyone that owns mineral right should read up on the laws before they get to your door. Your state oil and gas commission should have these available in plain english so they can be understood. If you own a large acreage of mineral rights you should consider an oil and gas lawyer. You should understand that you might not be approached or even notified in the first round of mineral purchase. State laws require a percentage of mineral rights per drilling unit to agree to drill. This is typically 60%. If they have met this percentage they may skip the rest of the people at this time. Once the permitting process has started then this person is no longer just trying to purchase your mineral rights but rather serving you legal notice. Don’t try playing these games because they can and will just walk out the door and take your oil and gas for free. They can do this legally. Yes they have to pay for them but here is what happens. They will hold a hearing that you were informed of and integrate your mineral rights. Once the percentage is met then all they have to do is make an attempt to inform you. If you are wrapped up in playing and throwing forks and shovels then they just take that as your answer and leave. Somewhere buried up in that stack of papers they left with you is the date of the hearing. At this hearing they will assign a risk factor typically 4 to 6 times the cost of drilling, completion, and other current and future expenses of the well.  They only have to pay you after this has been paid in full. This is likely the life of the well. So they get all your oil/gas and you did not get a penny. Once it gets to this point and you decide you would rather get paid then hire an oil and gas lawyer to represent you at the hearing. Josh Fox caused a lot of people to do this and has made billions for the oil and gas industry. Best thing is to learn your rights before they come knocking. Also understand the difference between an offer to purchase and a notice of “intent to drill”!!!

Side bar,

            Some states allow mineral rights owners so sell/lease his mineral rights to a neighboring drilling unit if the horizontal well is drilled across the boundary of the drilling unit under this persons property. Once this happens then the entire drilling unit will be worthless. If you and your neighbors decide to lock out the drilling by keeping the percentage below the minimum then make sure nobody backslides because this person will make a fortune and your property value will drop accordingly!

“My advice is anyone that owns mineral right should read up on the laws before they get to your door.”

Troy, would it be fair to say that you work for the industry given your detailed rundown on the likely outcomes of fracker meets farmer & that you mostly comment on fracking stories?

“Josh Fox caused a lot of people to do this and has made billions for the oil and gas industry.”

Not so many more billions if his film manages to influence the cessation of fracking altogether it would seem.

 

As for the Josh Fox comment what I am saying is that many people have heard all this about fracking, now scared and uninformed when a landman comes knocking they instantly say “no way” because they saw the film and think this will stop it. If the percentage has been met then that’s all the landman needs to hear. It may also be a surprise that many people don’t understand what just happened to them or even realize that they just lost their mineral rights anyway and may never know it.

“cessation of fracking altogether”

90% of domestic wells both conventional and tight require fracking and 85% worldwide. Stoping the fracking is limiting oil and gas production to 15% max. The old days of the gusher coming in are gone. Geologist are have found all but a very few of them. Except maybe the ANWR. Stop the fracking and only the military and the 1% will have fuel. This could be good for me because my wife’s very expensive hobby of raising horses may become profitable.

And yea you busted me out! I do work for the oil and gas industry. However I do support going green but stoping oil and gas production is not the answer right now.   

“what I am saying is that many people have heard all this about fracking, now scared and uninformed when a landman comes knocking they instantly say “no way” because they saw the film and think this will stop it.”

I don’t think there is much they can do about it. In the USA there is the illusion that there is actually property rights & previously in other discussions you have pointed out that there is a right to negotiate. But the system is stacked against the land owner & if the landowner does not perform due diligence, then fossil fuel corporations have armada’s of lawyers & endlessly deep pockets to ensure the landowner is defeated. The government is not there to come to the land owners aid, because their interest is the royalties. The potential loss of votes is not yet enough of a threat. Here in Australia, landowners only own the top 2 feet of their land. Everything else is crown property. There is no option to refuse. Although bills have been introduced to allow land owners to have that right. They have not ben passed as yet & many investigations are currently under way to gauge the validity of such bills.

http://www.skynews.com.au/eco/article.aspx?id=653927&vId=

“90% of domestic wells both conventional and tight require fracking and 85% worldwide.”

Then while we make this transition to less CO2 intensive fuel sources, we need to limit those fracking sites to areas that have little to no impact on as few people as possible.

“And yea you busted me out! I do work for the oil and gas industry.”

At least you are honest, that is admirable.

“but stoping oil and gas production is not the answer right now.  “

Realistically, that wont happen anyway. At least not for a few decades . There will be a long tapering off.  Electric cars will progressively erode the internal combustion market, but as far as the heavy transport & logistics sector go, there is nothing even remotely on the horizon to replace their fuel source.

 

Agree. Electric cars have a very bright future and they are no longer the novelty item that will carry you to the store and back. 250-300 mile range per charge and increasing as battery and drivetrain tech improves. Just get the assembly plants ramped up. However as long as they are being charged with electricity from coal fired plants without emissions capture then they are only reducing local emissions/smog. So clean up the electricity. I like the idea of electric cars.

I disagree with no solution for trucks. As for trucks, trains, planes, and such there is a bright future fuel. Synthetic diesel. This can be within a small percentage of a carbon zero or even in the negative. Plants are producing this right now but on too small of a scale to make a difference. The fuel is not far of crude diesel prices, can be blended or strait, and uses the same infrastructure, engines. No expensive changes needed!

Limit drilling to areas, agreed sounds like a viable solution. But now just get the oil and gas people to the table! The problem is when people are trying be heard and still publish the lies about the industry just like this article then you will never get these people to the table. They will never negotiate with this because they can carry proof to the government that these people are lying and the government will never mandate a hearing! Stop lying and present the facts!

As for the government being on the side of oil and gas, no! Oil and gas laws are made for the people. As an analogy let’s say you sell the table out of your dinning room, you agree on the price and money exchanges hands. But then when the person comes back with a truck you won’t let him on your property. Oil and gas is a little different because this table is community property and majority rules. Let’s say a drilling unit is one mile square, 640 acres. Drilling units are established because the oil and gas does not come only from under the wellhead but migrates from the surrounding area. If a person owns 64 acres then they have a 1/10th vote on selling or keeping mineral rights. If the owners of 384 acres want to drill then they are a 60% majority and that drilling unit of now drillable. Call it illegal, wrong, unfair, or whatever but majority rules and that is democracy. Now the rest can come along peacefully or kicking and screaming but your coming. These laws are intended to provide for this majority and prevent a minority from stopping the sale that the majority wants. I don’t think you will get any state to change the laws so that a person owning a one acre lot to control the entire drilling unit. So if you truly don’t want drilled on then make an agreement with all you neighbors and we the people have the right to say no. Or you could buy up the mineral rights yourself. As for them having lawyers you don’t need one to stop the drilling just a majority. I mentioned kicking and screaming, hire a lawyer but you will loose because majority rules. And don’t sell your table thinking that you can keep it to.

Electric cars are best suited to local travel. Highway evs are rolling battery packs. If you are going to have highway electrics then you really should have power supplied along the way with a rolling connection system.

Better yet travel by train and rent another car in your destination city.

Tesla motors. Building some impressive cars. Optional 160, 230, or 300-mile range. Nice family sedan that doesn’t even look like an electric. Battery life 7-years/100,000 miles. They are now ramping up production to try and meet demand but still have a waiting list. With this range it is suited just fine for daily commuting and then still going out for dinner. Where do people use the most gasoline (pollution), going back and forth to work or traveling cross-country? How many families are one-car families? A person commuting more than 300 miles per day needs to find another job! Down them if you want but the long waiting list tells me they are making a hit. Other manufacturers will follow.

I work in oil and gas as well, but with conventional oil.  I hear what you’re saying, but I don’t like it.

A) You are right… they get their precentage of rights, and they are good to go.

B) Transportation can easily be converted BACK to public transportation.  The Auto industry got caught buying light rail transit systems, then systematically dismantalling them.  But hey… wouldn’t you like to buy a car.

C) Government on side with oil and gas strikes a bad cord with me.  Its ethically irresponsible since its becoming appearent that its a big carbon polluter.  Subsidies are just further entrenching what is now becoming a bad technology.  Alberta has a big PR web page talking about Carbon capture, when it becomes pretty appearent that a huge hunk of that technology is about EOR (Enhanced Oil Recovery).  I do not think we need to subsidize an industry that is racking in BIG bucks all so we can increase global warming.

D) Electric Cars will not likely catch on because they are environmentally viscious. In Alberta… your car is charged with electricity from coal plants, you burn fuel to make the electricity (taking a loss), run it through the power lines (taking a loss) then charge a battery (taking a loss) then you use the electricity (taking a loss).  This is why Greens in Alberta don’t use Geothermal.  (Perhaps if the world ran on wind power.)

Been away, so haven’t had a chance to reply to this as yet.

“Just get the assembly plants ramped up. However as long as they are being charged with electricity from coal fired plants without emissions capture then they are only reducing local emissions/smog. So clean up the electricity. I like the idea of electric cars.”

We cannot instantly switch over the whole energy production system & method of propulsion over night. It will be an incremental change. A multi pronged change will take place & at different rates. Yes, electric cars will derive their energy from fossil fuel sources for a while. Just like we were still using whale oil when we transitioned to fossil fuels. The change didn’t happen globally & instantly.

“I disagree with no solution for trucks. As for trucks, trains, planes, and such there is a bright future fuel. Synthetic diesel.”

When we have food supply issues around the world, it seems ludicrous to use edible food as fuel for transport. Also synthetic diesel derived from coal or nat gas exacerbates the problem we are trying to mitigate in the first place. If we could use organic waste products to produce fuel, then that would seem to be a point of less resistance.

“As for the government being on the side of oil and gas, no! Oil and gas laws are made for the people.”

It’s doubtful that legislators could conceive of all the laws & regulations they would need in order to appease the public & at the same time strike a balance with business before the first derrick was ever struck. Instead, i suspect it happened slowly & was built upon over decades when each new problem presented itself. If the laws were all in the publics favour, then we would see environmentalists shutting down every fossil fuel opportunity before it even got off the ground. We don’t see that happening. If anything, it appears more get the go ahead than not.

“Call it illegal, wrong, unfair, or whatever but majority rules and that is democracy. Now the rest can come along peacefully or kicking and screaming but your coming.”

Our societies are replete with examples of instances where business are allowed to exploit loopholes in the law, or create very wordy contracts full of doublespeak. Take telecommunications for example. It would have to be one of the most complained about industries. People enter into cell phone/mobile phone contracts all the time where they believe they are getting a good deal & after a quick browse of the documents, they sign up. It’s only afterwards when they get the bills does it dawn on them the implications of their contract & often they are stuck.

I’m not saying that is what is happening in these mineral rights cases. But if they are being offered one thing & getting another, then that to me, is grounds for dispute. Often with many contracts these days, the contractee is made only aware of what is appealing to them. Rarely are they made to understand the implications or consequences of the things they wont like up front.

 

That is what I am saying. Just clean up the electric. Won’t be overnight but I think this one made a good start.

As for the fuels, these people have financing problems but I think they are on the right track. What do you think? www.rentechinc.com

“When we have food supply issues around the world, it seems ludicrous to use edible food as fuel for transport. Also synthetic diesel derived from coal or nat gas exacerbates the problem we are trying to mitigate in the first place. If we could use organic waste products to produce fuel, then that would seem to be a point of less resistance”

Nope, the fuel I refer to uses waist that would normally be an emitter. This fuel reduces CO2 from diesel engines by 50%. So no growing crops just for this, and removing the otherwise emitting waste would be negative would it not. They are also going to use trees in Canada to make fuel. If this is NEEDED forest management then it is good. I just hope it is not deforestation for fuel!!! They can use natural gas, coal, or crude oil for this fuel. This would not be carbon negative but still a 50% reduction in CO2. And the plant can be converted down the road to use waste feedstock. www.rentechinc.com

Phil

Sorry I guess I never caught on that you were in Australia. Can’t speak for you. But here in the US I do get aggravated when someone sells their rights for money and then start making videos and holding protest signs. You got different problems down there. Anyway you do post some interesting statements.

“But here in the US I do get aggravated when someone sells their rights for money and then start making videos and holding protest signs.”

I really don’t know enough from both sides of the argument over the exact details of the disagreements to comment effectively on that. As I have said, If they have been duped, then they have a right to protest. But as someone who runs a small business we have experienced that sort of thing from time to time.

We have invested lots of labour, materials & 3rd party contractors or service providers to pull a contract together. Only to have the client pull out at the last minute or after a month or two & after signing a contract. Often it’s too costly to pursue it in court. Lawyers seem to want to tie it up for as long as possible. Or they decalre bankrupt or skip the country. 

The conventional kind is pretty benign.

The well is drilled… cased in steel, then concreted.  Now how do you get that oil out?

Fracking, or shaped charge guns are used to blast a hole in the well casing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perforation_(oil_well)

Obviously of late the term has been expanded in its use.

 

Hey AnOilMan Glad to have an expert about this stuff on board. With your knowledge maybe you can answer some questions about some statements in articles that I don’t understand.

For instance just yesterday I was on the phone with an old friend of mine. He was down on Odessa Texas on a location that they were doing a 20-stage frack. Only thing is that this was on a vertical well. Can you explain how a 20-stage frack on a vertical well is less invasive than a 20-stage frack on a horizontal well?

I have seen a number of times in articles that state drilling pressures have increased 10,000, 13,500 psi in horizontal wells. For one thing I don’t know exactly what they are talking about, “drilling pressure”. And why would this be more of an environmental hazard. How is drilling pressure controlled?

Also it has been stated that a horizontal well take several times longer to drill and uses a lot more energy. Why would this be?

I have asked these questions on several of these articles but never got an answer. Can you explain?

Its an inside journal for oil and gas technology… neat stuff if you’re in the biz.

http://www.newtechmagazine.com/

Anyways, there’s a great article in there bragging about CO2 EOR (Enhanced Oil Recovery)… “Doesn’t Add Up” In layman terms they pump CO2 down to force oil up.

“They’re not doing EOR to get rid of greenhouse gases, they’re doing it to make money. The same as Weyburn…”

EOR is a component of Alberta’s ‘Carbon Capture’ program.  (And I thought it was just PR.)

http://www.calgaryherald.com/carboncaptureandstorage/index.html

That means that Alberta’s Carbon Capture project is now a direct subsidy of the oil and gas industry.  Why do these bums need my tax dollars?  I can’t stand corporate welfare.

The article goes on to describe how the US subsidizes these things… Here’s a sick part..  “Although much of the CO2 for EOR projects in the United States comes from wells drilled exclusively to produce CO2, the gas is also captured….

…good thing they aren’t capturing pollution.

More interesting… Coal Fired Plants\Upgraders produce lots of nitrogen.  This is not desireable for EOR, so it has to be removed.  Removal is extremely expensive, which is why Carbon Capture\EOR hasn’t caught on yet in Canada. (I guess we’ll need to subsidize that.)

I wonder if Greens can bring a NAFTA complaint against this Canadian Oil Industry subsidy?

http://www.calgaryherald.com/carboncaptureandstorage/Helping+emissions+half+2050/5564031/story.html

I’ll bet dollars to donuts that NO2 is a by-product…
  

Curious… but who voted down my previous post?  Who is afraid of seeing industry provided data, and not commenting on it?  Who would want to supress that?

Seriously..  you’d have to be some sort of socialist communist freak to support corporate welfare.  As a capitalist I find this very insulting.

 

So you are saying that they are making money. That is the intent of any industry. The oil industry will continue no matter how much we accuse them of making a profit. At least for now. Should we drill and frack new wells or pump tons of CO2 down existing wells to extend the life of the wells? I feel that a ton put back in the ground is a ton less in the air even if it is to produce more. One well revived is one less drilled. Read up on Desmog’s own articles about how much CO2 is put in the air just drilling a new well.

I found this highly informative;

http://www.thenation.com/article/164497/capitalism-vs-climate

It cleared up a lot of confusion in my head.  Being pro climate is pretty much an assault on capitalism.  (I couldn’t figure out why people thought I was some sort of marxist for wanting to clean the place up a bit…. )

The point is from what you are saying, is that its all about money.  But we’re getting to a point where making more money and growing our economy as we’ve done for the last 100 years, is hitting a breaking point.  The climate cannot handle it any more.  It will take us a healthy 20 years (at least) to transition off oil, and the world will be a very different place by then.

What ever happens we need to stop using oil and gas, soon and now.

Because trees don’t have legs;

http://climatecrock.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/hardiness.jpg

And plants need more than plant food (CO2).

 

“… to influence communities in which Range drills for gas.”

Somehow the accusation doesn’t produce the intended outrage – coming, as it does, from someone being paid by a PR company to make it.

In fact, it’s rather comical.

Not that it’s exactly a terribly devastating accusation to begin with.  “Attempting to influence people, you say?!  The fiends!”

My favourite is how you breathlessly declare:

USE OF PSYOPs PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE ON U.S. CITIZENS IS ILLEGAL

Oh my stars.  All-caps and in bold, yet. 

And you go on to ostentatiously and gravely elaborate:

“The use of PSYOPs by active military personnel on U.S. citizens is illegal and a violation of the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 …”

Of course, it’s entirely a red herring, since your very own article states, numerous times, yet:

“… that Range has hired Army and Marine veterans …”

“We have several former PSYOPs folks …”

“… James Cannon, a former Marine and Army Reservist …”

“… that veterans account for about 10 percent of its employees.”

“… scores of veterans now work for the natural gas industry …”

“… veterans with PSYOPs experience …”

Or maybe you missed that whole part about ACTIVE military personnel”, even as you typed it, with your very own fingers?  Or maybe it didn’t occur to you that the words like “former”, and “veteran” pretty much rule them out as being, y’know, “active”?

All in all, another pretty lame attempt to spin something completely legitimate and innocuous into a big, juicy scandal.  Yet another long fuse leading to a wet firecracker.

“Somehow the accusation doesn’t produce the intended outrage – coming, as it does, from someone being paid by a PR company to make it.”

+

And Cuffy, for the record, I am not an employee of the PR firm, and none of our writers are except Jim Hoggan.  So drop it already with the lies.”

=

“Why are my comments being deleted?! It’s outrageous & I can’t understand it. “

 

Cuffy,

Have you been in the military yourself?

I have, and I can assure you that those who have finished their contracted time in military, and in my case naval, arms service go onto something called The Reserve List if still fit.

Nice attempt at a straw man argument though.

Cuffy has a reading problem. I point out clearly that Jim Cannon, the Range psyops specialist, is active in the Reserves, as he mentions on his own website and LinkedIn. http://www.james-cannon.com/Personal.html

And Cuffy, for the record, I am not an employee of the PR firm, and none of our writers are except Jim Hoggan.  So drop it already with the lies.  One more and you're out of here. You've violated the comment policy repeatedly, and this is your last warning. 

“I point out clearly that Jim Cannon, the Range psyops specialist, is active in the Reserves”

Actually, what you pointed out, clearly, was that he was engaged in something less like what you sinisterly describe as “psyops” – as, well, a public relations campaign.

“And Cuffy, for the record, I am not an employee of the PR firm, and none of our writers are except Jim Hoggan.”

Sure, whatever you like.  I didn’t realize you were so sensitive on that issue.  I must have been confused by the fact that Desmogblog.com is owned and funded by James Hoggan & Associates Public Relations Inc.  But have it your way.

“So drop it already with the lies.  One more and you’re out of here. You’ve violated the comment policy repeatedly, and this is your last warning.”

What, precisely, have I “violated”?  I’m curious to know, since you don’t bother to mention?  How is it that at least one other long-time commenter here violates your “comment policy” virtually every single time he posts – and yet has never been threatened by you?

If you’re going to pretend to hide behind your arbitrary and capriciously enforced “comment policy” – which apparently only applies to anyone who dares to disagree with you – then you should at least make a show of ginning up some specific “charges”.

Did I insult anyone by, say, calling them a liar?  Or perhaps I might have written something abusive along the lines of, “Cuffy has a reading problem”?

Surely you can come up with something?  But then, you will ultimately delete my account on your whim, anyway.  So why bother continuing your pretense of having a “comment policy”?  It just makes you look more foolish.

“Sure, whatever you like.  I didn’t realize you were so sensitive on that issue.”

On WTFUWT I once advised people that Anthony works for right wing fox news & that his blog was a political blog disguised as a climate science blog. And that the AMS that Anthony belongs to disagrees with Anthony. The comment was snipped & my account was banned. I never realised he would be so sensitive about it. I was just sayin……sheesh.

“What, precisely, have I “violated”?  I’m curious to know, since you don’t bother to mention?”

There is a link to the comments policy on the side of the page you are looking at right now. You are free to check it out anytime. But hey, I’ll help you out just this once.

“Users who make unsubstantiated claims can expect their posts to be deleted and, if they persist, their account to be deactivated. Petty name-calling and/or a pattern of disrespect towards other DeSmogBlog users will also result in account deactivation.”

“How is it that at least one other long-time commenter here violates your “comment policy” virtually every single time he posts”

Provide examples……..& every single post?

 

“How is it that at least one other long-time commenter here violates your “comment policy” virtually every single time he posts”

“Provide examples……..& every single post?”

How curious that you thought I was referring to you, Phil?  Yet, illuminating.

Phil is spotless in virtue as he fearlessly defends truth and the universe against the enemies of all that is right. Thats what I gather from reading his posts anyway.

“against the enemies of all that is right.”

No just right wing Rick ;)

 

“How curious that you thought I was referring to you, Phil?  Yet, illuminating.”

Did I mention me? Shoot the messenger eh? I just asked for examples. Not a stickler for detail our tea party mate Cuffy.

Frak em all.

These fracking operatives remind me of that “former CIA operative” Kent Clizbe who tried to use his pathetic “spy skills” to discredit Dr. Mann.  

I was following Clizbe’s twitter, and he recomended a moronic conspiracy site (private detective agency) that posts “legal opinion” by John O’Sullivan attacking Dr. Mann and conspiracy theories about AIDS. The “investigator” who runs the site is a former LAPD detective “since the 1980s. The guy looks about 40, so this must be an old picture. 

It is called “The Office of Medical and Scientific Justice.” It sounds very official, but it is just garbage. They have a section on global warming that attacks Dr. Mann and has a lot of denialist propaganda.

http://www.omsj.org/corruption/michael-%E2%80%98climategate%E2%80%99-mann-suffers-three-legal-blows-in-court-escapade

The OMSJ say that their mission is “to protect and defend the victims and witnesses of medical and scientific corruption,” but the OMSJ claims that HIV does not cause AIDS!  

Some political operatives who work for the frackers are like KGB officers: they know how to make trouble, but they are pretty ignorant about science. 

A lot of these people who did political operations have been in the military and now need jobs, but they have a lot of anger and I don’t think they are good at anything but making trouble. They need jobs and they need an enemy.

People in the environmental movement need to be very careful not to be manipulated into violent actions by these radical denialist operatives. That’s what they want. You will go to prison and your views will be discredited. They are doing what the KGB does.

Stick with the scientific evidence and be very non-violent.

[x]

New York's highest state court ruled today that local governments have the legal authority to use zoning to bar oil and gas drilling, fracking and other heavy industrial sites within their borders. In a 5-2 decision, affirming the rulings of three lower courts, the justices dismissed challenges to fracking bans created by two towns, Middlefield and Dryden.

The case has been closely watched by the oil and gas industry in the Marcellus region and nationwide. Over 170 towns, villages and cities...

read more