Fracking Opponents Labeled “Insurgents” By Energy Industry

At a meeting last November in Texas, oil industry executives were given advice on addressing the opposition to the environmentally-unsound practice of Hydraulic Fracturing. What was especially unusual, not to mention disturbing, about the advice was that it encourages energy officials to adopt military-style strategies for dealing with what they called “an angry public.” Rather than laying out their case and letting the public decide whether they approve of the methods and risks of Fracking, this strategy focuses on “Psy Ops” skills and treating those  skeptical of Fracking as “Insurgents.”

Matt Carmichael of Manager of External Affairs for Anadarko petroleum,  suggested three ways on “executing your media plan for public relations”. The first: Download the Army/Marine Corp Counterinsurgency Manual, because, as he says, “Because we are dealing with an insurgency.” Number 2: Take the Harvard course called, “Dealing With An Angry Public.” Last: The presenter urges officials to get a copy of “Rumsfeld Rules” which he refers to as his “Bible”.

The meeting was recorded by Sharon Wilson, Director of the Oil & Gas Accountability Project for the organization, Earthworks. She passed on the recordings to CNBC, who ran the story here, along with audio of the recordings. When asked about the “Insurgency” statement, conference attendee Chris Tucker of Energy In Depth, told CNBC the remark was “meant as a joke”. Click here to listen to his full statement and see for yourself if you think he was just joking…


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