The power of stories shapes our understanding of the world around us.
But when it comes to fracking, all too often these stories are coming from politicians and industry while ignoring the negative impact to communities, environmental destruction and threat to future generations.
Understanding how to win the Battle of the Story for public opinion is critical to all of our efforts as organizers, advocates and communicators to make positive change.” Patrick Reinsborough, CSS Co-director
"We’re being told that – thanks to technological advances like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling – the US is undergoing an energy revolution, leading us in a few short years to become once again the world’s biggest oil producer and an exporter of natural gas. According to the Oil & Gas Industry and their proponents, “fracking” will provide the US with energy security, low energy prices for the foreseeable future, more than a million jobs, and economic growth.
The Reality is that the so-called shale revolution is nothing more than a bubble, driven by record levels of drilling, speculative lease & flip practices on the part of shale energy companies, fee-driven promotion by the same investment banks that fomented the housing bubble, and by unsustainably low natural gas prices. Geological and economic constraints – not to mention the very serious environmental and health impacts of drilling – mean that shale gas and shale oil (tight oil) are far from the solution to our energy woes."
"Landowners and communities are struggling to cope: Existing laws are outdated and loophole-riddled, and enforcement is universally inadequate and underfunded. We battle a persistent myth that gas is a “clean” energy – which is not only false, but keeps us from moving towards truly clean energy and ending our reliance on fossil fuels.
The result: as industry rakes in record profits from fracking-enabled drilling, it passes on drilling’s heaviest costs to landowners, local communities and future generations. That’s because elected leaders (sometimes influenced by dirty energy money) too often refuse to hold the industry accountable for the damage they cause, or require them to prevent it.
The rush to drill, and the tragic consequences that follow, has made fracking a household word. In the process it has made “fracktivists” out of thousands of ordinary citizens — including some who regard “environmentalist” as a dirty word. Some are working to prevent fracking in their communities. Those already affected are fighting to protect their air, water, and health.
We all want to STOP THE FRACK ATTACK – the out-of-control rush to drill that is putting oil and gas industry profits over our health, our families, our property, our communities, and our futures.
Now is the time for us all to unite and demand that decisionmakers inside the Beltway hear our voice and take action to change the way the oil and gas industry operates in this country.
Photograph by Eugene Richards, National Geographic Magazine, The New Oil Landscape
"The largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history has swept across the United States. The Halliburton-developed drilling technology of 'fracking' or hydraulic fracturing has unlocked a 'Saudia Arabia of natural gas' just beneath us. But is fracking safe? When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination. A recently drilled nearby Pennsylvania town reports that residents are able to light their drinking water on fire. This is just one of the many absurd and astonishing revelations of a new country called GASLAND. Part verite travelogue, part expose, part mystery, part bluegrass banjo meltdown, part showdown."
SmartMeme's work filled a critical gap in our communications strategy: thedevelopment of a compelling narrative to build public support for systemic tax reform in California. Their tools and framework combined with effective facilitation helped surface strategic questions about our framing and messaging strategy, tap into our creative thinking and build alignment among our alliance partners. Their process of applying power analysis to dominant culture narratives is both provocative and productive.