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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Ohio DNR Comes Under Fire For Internal Plan to Counter Fracking Claims of Anti-Drilling Crowd

Activists are up in arms over abandoned
Ohio Department of Natural Resources plan to
work with drillers on countering their fracking claims
From The Columbus Dispatch:
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the agency assigned to regulate oil-and-gas drilling in Ohio, developed a wide-ranging public-relations campaign in August 2012 to sell Ohioans on fracking in some state parks and forests. It was never officially implemented.
The 10-page memo recognized that the public-relations initiative “could blur public perception of ODNR’s regulatory role in oil and gas,” which would require “precise messaging and coordination” to counteract.
The memo also warned about the need to overcome “zealous resistance by environmental-activist opponents who are skilled propagandists.” Opponents of hydraulic fracturing would “attempt to create public panic” about possible health risks, brand the policies of Gov. John Kasich as “ dangerous and radical,” and “attempt to legally and physically disrupt or halt the drilling projects, including staging dangerous protests on state lands.” The latter would necessitate “ sustained legal countermeasures and crisis readiness” by the state.
Read the whole article here.

Some of the criticism of the ODNR can be read in an article from the Huffington Post:
The communication planning document warned that "'eco-left' pressure groups" will be key influencers seeking to stop the drilling and would "attempt to create public panic" about health risks related to fracking. It listed companies like Halliburton, as well as associations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Ohio Oil and Gas Association as "allied" groups on behalf of the state's initiative. Groups like the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council and the Ohio Environmental Council, as well as two specific state legislators, are listed as the "opposition." 
ProgressOhio Executive Director Brian Rothenberg called the memo evidence of the "Nixonian tactics" that the governor and his officials employ. 
And here is the internal memo that is causing such outrage among anti-drilling activists.




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