The story of hydraulic fracturing (frac’ing) is one of the most important stories of our time. It needs to be told far and wide–and certainly by our top talent in Hollywood.
The true story of frac’ing is utterly inspiring. A band of renegade oil and gas executives, engineers, and rig-workers developed a technology that could transform worthless rock into wondrously abundant and affordable energy–enough to improve the lives of every single American. Frac’ing gives some states the cheapest electricity in the world, a boon to our manufacturing. It gives us the oil and gas that run our farms, warm our homes, and fuel our fun.
Whatever ways frac’ing technology has been misused–and for a pervasive technology there are shockingly few instances–our basic attitude toward the industry should be one of gratitude.…
“We should never forget that the oil industry, whatever its problems (and most of those are caused by bad government policies) is the single most vital industry in the world.”
This election year, America faces many crucial legislative choices in the oil/gas industry–and the PR strategy of oil companies will certainly affect the outcome.
What should oil company executives do to improve their industry’s reputation and secure their freedom to produce the lifeblood of civilization?
Unfortunately, the conventional answer is: pretend they’re not oil companies. BP’s John Browne some years ago infamously declared his company’s aspirations to be “Beyond Petroleum”–a slogan that obviously does not aid the industry’s desire for more petroleum drilling rights. (BP, to its credit, no longer trumpets this slogan, which defaults BP back to the implicit original, British Petroleum.)…
In the wake of the BP well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico and the attempted terrorist bombing of New York’s Times Square, the broadcast media have been full of the sackcloth and ashes crowd pronouncing once more the end of the hydrocarbon era and the vital need for the U.S. to “break our oil addiction” ASAP.
Their soundbites start with a half-truth and end with a fallacy. We are told that “60 percent of U.S. energy supplies still come from oil and gas,” with the implication that (i) all of that is imported; and (ii) the pittance that we produce domestically all comes from offshore facilities.
It is true that 60 percent (actually 62.5%) of our energy comes from oil and gas. But the portion that comes from natural gas, about 24% of total U.S.…