As the shale gas industry has started to develop in the UK a set of myths has emerged. Some of this is due to wishful thinking, but we think you also need to be aware that the industry has a very powerful lobbying presence and that it employs high powered PR agents to spin its story.
As an example Cuadrilla use PPS group who specialise in “working in the tougher areas of communication”
PPS group advertise their ability to mobilise local support thus:
Mobilising and securing support
Local support will unlock planning permissions. But how to find it?
PPS segments communities to understand which groups are most likely to support your particular scheme and the arguments they are most likely to respond to. We target the most promising sections of the community to mobilise support for your plans. Along the way we use social media techniques – Facebook groups, online petitions – as well as old-fashioned shoe leather to encourage supporters to make their views known.
We also have working relationships with polling companies and are able to use quantitative and qualitative research to measure local opinion. And our teams include political activists with long experience of the campaigning skills required to win local referenda on planning matters.
Presenting support in a way that resonates is important. Councillors often respond well to knowing the degree of support in their ward, they read local newspapers and they understand how rarely supporters write to local councils. Demonstrating local support is crucial to the localism agenda.
It is interesting to read how they are alleged to have gone about this in the past. You can find out for yourselves here http://www.powerbase.info/index.php/PPS_Group
The myths about fracking get repeated by many people who really should know a lot better, including even our local MEPs, and in the process they (the myths that is , not the MEPs) acquire a respectability which they really don’t deserve. With a recent survey showing that nearly half of the local population admit to knowing little or nothing about fracking we feel that it’s time to put the record straight.
The main myths are listed below – In this section of the web site we are going deal with each of these in more detail.
- Fracking will mean cheaper energy
- Fracking will create thousands of long term jobs for local people
- Fracking fluids (slick water and flowback) are harmless
- Fracking will mean a significant boost to the local economy
- Fracking will give the UK energy security
- Shale gas is less harmful to the atmosphere than other fossil fuels
- Fracking is proven to be safe
Come back to see how we debunk each of these in turn over the next few weeks.