Ryan Lance, CEO of oil giant ConocoPhillips, issued a dire warning to colleagues at an energy conference earlier this month. According to Lance, “misinformation and fear” could easily derail the current financial boom that is taking place within the shale gas industry.
According to The Hill, Lance told those gathered at the conference that they need to actively engage with government officials to fix the problem. From The Hill’s report:
Industry groups contend that concerns about fracking have been badly overstated and say the method is safe.
Lance accused critics of “creating fear” and touted steps he said the industry is taking on water conservation, disclosure of chemicals and other areas.
To address Lance’s first claim (fear and misinformation), the only misinformation being pushed out related to the safety of fracking is coming from the industry. The best available research tells us that natural gas fracking activities have been linked to increased seismic activity, groundwater pollution, and abnormally higher concentrations of air pollution near fracking well sites. The full list of dangers from fracking can be found in DeSmogBlog’s “Fracking The Future” report.
But focusing on Lance’s claim that “misinformation and fear” are thwarting fracking operations misses another important statement from the CEO. He also said that he and his colleagues in the industry are taking the initiative in being more transparent in disclosing the chemical cocktails being injected into the ground, as well as improvements in “other areas.”
Lance’s claim is at odds with the truth. In fact, his company, ConocoPhillips, has helped lead the charge to prevent any form of disclosure. While they have complied with state regulations that are beginning to require disclosure from shale gas companies, they have done only the bare minimum of reporting, and the majority of wells operated by both Conoco and the rest of the industry continue to skirt disclosure requirements.