Range Resources Exec Says Tactics Have Been Used in PA
I’m not one prone to the conspiratorial ramblings of the tin-foil hat wearing crowd. There’s enough evil and injustice in the world of reality to process in any given day to get too carried away with 9/11 Truthers and the like.
Evidence of that is in a story broken yesterday by CNBC which bills itself as the network for people of high net worth – not exactly an anti-establishment organization.
According to CNBC’s story, the network was contacted by Sharon Wilson an environmental activist affiliated with Earthworks‘ Oil & Gas Accountability Project who paid to attend a natural gas industry conference on media and community relations in late October. At the conference, Wilson heard executives from some of the key U.S. companies involved in fracking for natural gas in places like Pennsylvania suggest during presentations that military-style ‘psy ops’ be used to combat environmental and other fracking concerns.
From the CNBC story:
In a session entitled “Designing a Media Relations Strategy To Overcome Concerns Surrounding Hydraulic Fracturing,” Range Resources communications director Matt Pitzarella spoke about “overcoming stakeholder concerns” about the fracking process.
“We have several former psy ops folks that work for us at Range because they’re very comfortable in dealing with localized issues and local governments,” Pitzarella said. “Really all they do is spend most of their time helping folks develop local ordinances and things like that. But very much having that understanding of psy ops in the Army and in the Middle East has applied very helpfully here for us in Pennsylvania.”
At another session, Matt Carmichael, the manager of external affairs for Anadarko Petroleum, spoke on the topic of “Understanding How Unconventional Oil & Gas Operators are Developing a Comprehensive Media Relations Strategy to Engage Stakeholders and Educate the Public.”
He said he had several recommendations for the oil industry media professionals at the event, one of which, he said, involved the military.
“Download the U.S. Army-slash-Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Manual, because we are dealing with an insurgency,” Carmichael said. “There’s a lot of good lessons in there and coming from a military background, I found the insight in that extremely remarkable.”
Range Resources is a publicly traded company with a market cap over $11 billion. Anadarko Petroleum, also a public company, possesses market capitalization of $40 billion. These companies can afford to communicate with rural landowners, farmers and small town America in any ways they please. Using tactics that the U.S. military uses against terrorist and Taliban insurgents in places like Iraq and Afghanistan is the choice they are making in Pennsylvania.
I wonder what their operational plan is for Ohio?
You can read the entire CNBC story and listen to audio from the conference here.