FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Contact: Paul Chesser, email@example.com
Who are the multi-million dollar foundations and activists, nonprofits, media groups and academics that are attacking the natural gas industry and its safe, effective hydraulic fracturing process? Who spreads myths and lies about a business that has created thousands of jobs and has delivered energy extracted from U.S. lands to millions of Americans, reducing our dependence on foreign countries?
In a report this week for Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Foundation, American Tradition Institute executive director Paul Chesser and research fellow Mark Newgent identify those who oppose natural gas development, and expose their financial incentives, their relationships to each other, and their misleading statements and outright lies about hydraulic fracturing (colloquially called “fracking”).
“Environmentalist groups and activists want you to believe that they — and by extension the land, water and air that we all treasure and want to protect — are endangered because so-called ‘big’ fossil-fuel companies allegedly have a huge advantage in spending on lobbying and messaging,” said Chesser, who is also a senior fellow for the Commonwealth Foundation. “Our report shows that ‘Big Green’ also plays a big money game — often built on lies and distortions, which unlike energy, are useless to the public and harmful to the issues debate.”
Among its revelations the report, titled “The Great Frack Attack: The War on Natural Gas,” exposes efforts by the Sandler-funded ProPublica, which to date has dedicated 120 articles to an assault on natural gas and hydraulic fracturing. Former subprime mortgage lenders Herb and Marion Sandler, who have joined George Soros in support of Center for American Progress and many other leftist groups, poured more than $9 million into ProPublica to help launch it on its mission. Herb Sandler serves as chairman of its board of directors.
Also examined in the report are the funding activities of the Heinz Endowments, overseen by liberal icon Teresa Heinz Kerry, which recently expanded its anti-gas funding dramatically. Among the Heinz grants were thousands of dollars for “outreach and organizing” and to “characterize pollution impacts” from drilling in the Marcellus Shale region. Another large Heinz grant went to a University of Pittsburgh public health center run by alarmist Conrad Volz, who left his position in April after several errors were found in a report where the natural gas industry was falsely accused of dumping carcinogenic agents into drinking water supplies.
The Oscar-nominated movie “Gasland,” activist groups Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future and PennEnvironment, and dozens of other national and state groups come under scrutiny in the report as well.
The 12-page expose is available for reading on the Commonwealth Foundation’s Web site ( http://www.commonwealthfoundation.org/ ) .
For an interview with American Tradition Institute executive director Paul Chesser, call (202)670-2680 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.