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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Questions Being Raised About "Censored" EPA Report on Dimock

For background on this story, visit here and here.

The latest, from Energy in Depth:
Drip, drip, drip. The more details we discover about this “EPA PowerPoint,” the more puzzling the whole story becomes. The anti-natural gas crowd is of course salivating over what they think it proves about Dimock, but the facts (still) don’t support them.
The anti-industry website “DeSmogBlog” recently published the PowerPoint at the center of all this manufactured hysteria. Naturally, DeSmog did not publish the mountain of other data collected by EPA, which also informed their final conclusion that no additional action was necessary in Dimock. According to DeSmog’s characterization, the presentation was released internally before EPA’s final assessment in July 2012. Thus, it’s reasonable to conclude that the “leaked PowerPoint” was simply an outlier opinion amongst countless other data that were incorporated into EPA’s final determination. It was nothing more than the un-reviewed conclusion of “a single staffer,” according to the EPA itself, in an agency that employs thousands of people.
Even worse, the entire storyline was orchestrated behind the scenes by the aggressively anti-fracking Natural Resources Defense Council, an organization that ironically screams from the rooftops about issues such as disclosure. The PDF of the “leaked” presentation, posted by DeSmog, links it directly to an NRDC staffer:
kslusark
The username on the document is “kslusark,” a handle for Kate Slusark (now Kate Slusark Kiely), a media staffer in the NRDC’s New York City office. That explains why the NRDC is given a forum in the early paragraphs of both the L.A. Times and Bloomberg News stories. The NRDC staffer quoted in those stories is Kate Sindig – for whom Ms. Slusark serves as press contact. Sindig alsoblogged about the L.A. Times story shortly after its publication, and in a style that suggested she was just reporting on news. She never once disclosed the NRDC’s role in that L.A. Times story running in the first place!
You got to hand it to the NRDC: They certainly know how to manufacture a story.
Read the whole article here.

Marcellus Drilling News actually raises the question as to whether the presentation is even legitimate:
We feel compelled to point out that nowhere in the PowerPoint is there a single reference to the EPA. No logo, no citations, no nothing. There is no attribution of any kind in the document that identifies the EPA as the source of the data appearing in the document. We have to take it on faith that the LA Times (andDeSmogBlog) are being truthful that the document’s source is the EPA and not something made up. Both theLA Times and DeSmogBlog have been truth-challenged in the past, so take this document for what it is: unattributed and possibly from the EPA. 
Read the whole thing here (subscription required).

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