As politically influential as the pharmaceutical industry is; when they advertise their products on TV they must include a list of the potential risks of using their product. It is sometime a very long and scary list, including anything from headaches to death. The only reason they mention the risks, despite the fact that it might scare away potential customers, is; that they are required to by FDA laws.
When the natural gas industry runs TV ads promoting Fracking, they too mention that there are risks, but they don’t list what any of them are; because they are not required to. The only reason they even use the word risk is because their lawyers say it might help them look like they were trying to be truthful when future lawsuits come their way. If they really wanted to be fully truthful they would name all the risks; which they are required to do in their annual statements to shareholders, by SEC laws.
Shouldn’t the same rules of full disclosure that apply to being completely honest with their shareholders apply to the Gasser’s TV ads which are trying to convince the American public that Fracking is okay despite the risks? Shouldn’t their responsibility to mention the details of the risks they acknowledge in their ads, be at least the same as the drug companies?
In the case of the sale of drugs, the customer is protected by laws which require “informed consent”. The customer must be told the truth about the risks of the drug and then have the option to either consent to taking it or to refuse. In the case of Fracking the concept of consent is not part of the deal. Fracking is done under the rule of “compulsory integration”; if 60% of the land in a “space” (an area defined by the Gassers) is leased for Fracking; the 40% of the un-leased property which adjoins the leased property in that “space” is forced to allow Fracking to take place under their property, without their consent.
Shouldn’t at least the concept of “informed”, as to the details of the risks, be made known to the people compelled to integrate? And how about the rest of the residents of New York State who are likewise being forced to have Fracking done under their water supply; should they have the right to be informed about the risks of Fracking too? Shouldn’t the Gassers be required by law to tell the whole and complete truth to the public?
Just how great are these risks that are acknowledged in the Gasser advertising, but that the public aren’t being told the details of? Here are the details;
Natural gas and oil operations are subject to many risks, including well blowouts, cratering and explosions, pipe failures, fires, formations with abnormal pressures, uncontrollable flows of natural gas, oil, brine or well fluids and other environmental hazards and risks.
Our drilling operations involve risks from high pressures and from mechanical difficulties such as stuck pipes, collapsed casings and separated cables.
If any of these risks occurs, we could sustain substantial losses as a result of:
• injury or loss of life;
• severe damage to or destruction of property, natural resources or equipment;
• pollution or other environmental damage;
• clean-up responsibilities;
• regulatory investigations and administrative, civil and criminal penalties; and
• injunctions resulting in limitation or suspension of operations.
There is inherent risk of incurring significant environmental costs and liabilities in our exploration and production operations due to our generation, handling and disposal of materials, including wastes and petroleum hydrocarbons. source: 2009 Chesapeake Gas & Oil Annual Report
Since the risks the Gasser’s disclose are obviously true, or else they wouldn’t have to say them; how can they possibly also call Fracking “safe”? If the Gassers were required by the EPA or FCC to use their own words to detail the risk they acknowledge in their TV ads and all their other advertising; how likely is it that anyone in New York State would be in favor of Fracking, from the Governor and the head of the DEC, to the players on Wall Street who think their water will be “safe”, to the unsuspecting average NYS citizens who isn’t being told the whole truth and who believes their elected officials wouldn’t put their safety, health and wellbeing in danger due to such risks? My guess is the only people willing to take such risks are the Texas & Oklahoma Gassers and the few leaseholders who live far away. Since the truth of the risks of Fracking, as provided by the Gassers themselves, clearly shows Fracking to be too risky and thus too dangerous for the vast majority of NYS residents; shouldn’t we make sure we and our families are really kept safe and just ban Fracking?