Communication Matters - our blog on trends and events


Posts tagged “fracking”

Media are covering the shale oil and gas industry, but is the industry talking to the media?

You could spend a good number of hours out of your day tracking coverage of the oil and gas industry. Trade media, bloggers, local, national and international media are examining the industry from any number of angles. More often than not, the industry’s viewpoint is not being communicated with the same energy, and the results are damaging the industry’s public perception.

It is difficult to digest all the media scrutiny. If you want a good daily roundup, check out the news aggregator,

But what is abundantly clear is that the coverage is commensurate with the impact the industry is having, from shifts in the global economy down to the tiniest of tremors registered in a small Ohio town. Coverage often reflects public concern, government…

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The oil and gas industry is being forced to cope with ‘Lightning Rods of Controversy’

The other day while meeting with a journalist, my client fielded what some would consider a “softball” question.

 “Do you think we are being silly, to be so concerned with fracking and its impacts?”

The answer? Done responsibly and with the proper regulation, fracking has proven to be good for the national economy, lucrative for regions across the country and essential to the United States achieving its goal of energy independence.

The reporter nodded and the interview continued.

We fielded the same question in the next meeting and in the one after that. Clearly, this was one of the KEY questions of the day.

In reality, this wasn’t a softball question at all. These reporters were based in London, where the issue of hydraulic drilling was– and still is – being…

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Ohio Report on Earthquakes Hits Shale Gas Industry

For some time, the burgeoning Ohio oil and gas industry has enjoyed a largely positive public perception. On Friday, regulators in Columbus issued an announcement that created a mounting communications crisis and could alter public support.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) said it had found a “probable connection” between the drilling activity or “fracking” of Hilcorp Energy Co. and a series of earthquakes that occurred in Mahoning County’s Poland Township in March.

ODNR halted drilling within a three-mile radius of the epicenter of the quakes. Regulators said firms active in the Utica Shale formation, which runs under Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, must install seismic monitors if they drill within three miles of a known fault. They also…

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Fracking: The Cornell Conundrum

I’m not sure what to think or who to believe about the risks and challenges associated with extracting natural gas from shale.

The controversy and the emotions over hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) are hot and show no signs of cooling off, especially in Ohio and other shale-rich states that are just beginning to explore their natural gas reserves.  Even as projects are moving forward, regulators are scrambling and communities are living in the moment, it seems that neither the proponents nor opponents have exactly figured out their “story,” let alone know how to communicate it clearly and consistently.

And the technical folks aren’t much help either.  Look at what’s happening at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.  One group of Cornell researchers, led by…

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Tales from the Inbox – for Your Consideration

The inbox fills up much faster than just about anyone's ability to keep up with it. A lot of it is junk - I'm sure glad it doesn't come to me in paper form! But some of it is really useful, eye-opening and thought-provoking. Here is some recommended reading from a wide variety of sources since the beginning of the year:

Ohio fracking: A balanced Reuters story (January 13, 2012) about the use of fracking in shale drilling in Ohio. Another good versus evil story – earthquakes and the environment versus jobs and domestic energy production.

Megatrends: Bill Roth, The Triple Pundit guest blogger for January 3, 2012, highlights "five megatrends creating 2012's trillion dollar global sustainable economy." The list consists of energy efficiency, greening of the supply…

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