A high-profile advocate for hydraulic fracturing has taken to national newspaper advertising in the UK to face down doubters and opponents. Texan energy industry executive Chris Faulkner – the president and chief executive of Breitling Energy Corp. – in a full-page ad in The Sunday Telegraph, asks, “Do you know your country is blessed with an incredible gift?”
The advertising and marketing push comes as the UK appears to be moving towards allowing hydraulic fracturing, despite the voices of impending doom and the demonstrations.
Faulkner calls on citizens and government officials to “ignore the scaremongering and get behind fracking, for the sake of your future energy security and your economy”.
He explains that recent increased estimates from the British Geological Survey of natural gas trapped in shale rock deep beneath the surface represent “fantastic news” for the country. Contrasting this discovery with “a near-catastrophic gas shortage last winter” and the decline of North Sea resources, Faulkner points to the benefits from fracking.
These he cites as “decades worth of natural gas”, “thousands of jobs”, “millions of pounds in tax revenues” for social and other government programs, “freedom from … Russia’s political games” interrupting the gas supply, “lowering energy prices for millions” and “reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
Faulkner, who has lately given evidence to a House of Commons committee and industry conferences, and has been interviewed by UK press, radio and television, appeals to people to “see through the hype and the drama by keeping an open mind and to hearing the truth about fracking”.
Referring to the “economic rebound” experienced in the United States – where “fracking is going on under my own home, my whole town and much of my home state” – he declares that numerous independent studies, including three by the U.S. equivalent of the EPA, have found no water contamination or health concerns for people or livestock.
Fracking, he concludes, is safe when properly regulated, and the UK already enjoys some of the most stringent regulations in the world.