I Was Paid to Lie About Fracking for Six Months and I Can’t Take it Anymore

I was paid to lie about fracking for six months and I can’t take it anymore.

First and foremost, I must digress. It would give me nothing but satisfaction to unmask the culprits who forced me to lie in the name of profit. Alas, confidentiality contracts were signed and thus, my lips are partially sealed. While I cannot reveal where I worked and certain important details, I would like to drop my name into the populous of worriers.

A key part of the training for my new “career” was promoting and marketing a company with a particular financial interest in fracking and its new miracle fuel, compressed natural gas (CNG).

We were taught sharp responses to any number of questions including environmental and health concerns, which deflected but did not actually satisfy curiosity.

My company was run by an egomaniac. While it was funny at first to hear the occasional telephone argument and watch a coffee mug fly by our faces in anger, we soon defaulted to worry and eventually a forced complacency. Our boss had friends in high places and pissing him off meant a simultaneous career-killer and a verbal beating that was sharp and jagged.

The perks were many. Leaving early when we wanted, liquid lunches, celebrities and high-political figures and a promised future backed by a company “at the forefront of technology.” The fact remained that while we profited using CNG, every one of us knew it was our meal ticket and not a “clean energy” one.

For starters, as the fracking process begins, several hundred diesel-powered trucks are required to transport nearly 7 million gallons of water PER fracking job. Then, several hundred chemicals are shot into the earth including mercury and hydrochloric acid. Yes, the acid that dissolves keys is pounded into the dirt and has even resulted in large spills of 20,000 gallons during mishaps. All the while, methane gas is released due to the pressure and spread out, contaminating groundwater.

This “clean” energy simply isn’t so. And worse than that, people are paid every day to lie about these facts or stretch the truth to keep the dollars stacking and create a market share.

Ever wonder why Amazon sells books so cheap? They would rather lose profit to maintain a monopoly. It’s simple business. Now, companies like Clean Energy Fuels are sponsored by politicians for mutual gains. Natural gas is very “in” right now. It’s sexy and new and best of all, it appeals to us because it’s not a pricey fossil fuel.

After a tumultuous six months of smiling for the cameras and hiding in my apartment all weekend, I was lucky the boss wanted to clean house. He had a new direction for the face of the company and most of us were out. I was never mad about the promises of glory and stock options being a lie, but I did felt used. I think we all did.

I am happy to say this particular company is not doing as well as we hoped. Maybe because his vision was muddled by his own God-complex or perhaps his investors wised up to some of the truths behind his inventory. The point is we have stopped questioning what we don’t know.

Words such as “natural” and “clean” are not what they seem to be. There is no legislation to define how we can and cannot refer to such things.

After all, poison ivy is a plant, but that doesn’t make it a healthy source of iron.

 

David J Meyer
B.A. in Creative Writing from wonderful, yet overpriced NYC school. Unequivocal mess. Moderate hit at parties. Feeling eater. Franzia aficionado. Haberdashery enthusiast. Way too much time on my hands.
  • http://www.theflounce.com AlexisO

    Thank you for writing this and putting it in plain terms! Man, I would LOVE to know the company!

    Fracking is all the rage in my area out in PA and I hate it, and I wish people looked beyond the money being thrown at them. There’s going to be a cracker plant, and I’m not talking about Nabisco, put in a couple of highway miles away from my house and I am against it. But aaaall the politicians are selling “job creation” and “revenue for our county”

    No matter what anyone says, Fracking is NOT safe. You cannot pump those types of chemicals into the ground and not contaminate everything in its path. They’ve sent prospective form letters to my neighborhood to gauge interest if we would sell rights to them if they found anything on our properties and the next day my reply was in the mail like nope, end of story, don’t contact me again. I can’t say the same for my neighbors. We’re all going to end up like Wall-E.

    • Paul

      Hear Hear!

  • Tantalus

    “All the while, methane gas is released due to the pressure and spread out, contaminating groundwater.”
    This line is Bullshit.

    Here’s a prominent study that found methane from the marcellus (a fracked shale) was “contaminating” ground water. It’s lauded as a smoking gun by anti-fracking activists. However, you’ll note that the findings are that failings in conventional hydrocarbon exploration technologies (specifically well casings and annulus cement, as well as one case of well failure) are responsible for the migration of this gas into ground water.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/111/39/14076.abstract
    To reiterate: The methane that enters ground water is not because of fracking. Ground water is often *MILES* away from hydrocarbon reservoirs with impermeable rock in between. It’s the wells which are drilled through this impermeable rock, not the fracking of the permeable rock far beneath that allows the methane to enter ground water.

    Further it should also be noted that methane “contamination” is naturally occurring in many places, non-toxic, does not cause health problems, and is easily removed with existing commercial off the shelf technologies.
    See:
    http://extension.psu.edu/natural-resources/water/drinking-water/water-testing/pollutants/methane-gas-and-its-removal-from-wells-in-pennsylvania
    Here’s an article by a guy who works for a company that makes the kind of equipment that allows methane to be removed from water:
    http://www.watertechonline.com/articles/the-fine-points-of-methane-removal

    tl;dr: The methane that enters ground water near fracking sites has been shown to be due to problems with conventional drilling technology and moreover presents very little health danger, especially given the easily available means to remove it from the water. (The biggest danger is combustion and explosion if the gas is allowed to build up while in contact with the atmosphere).

    • Paul

      This is a new technology still and people still do not know all the details.

      Whether or not that contaminates the groundwater is a moot point as it happens regardless.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140915095851.htm

      http://rt.com/usa/194620-california-aquifers-fracking-contamination/

      • Tantalus

        “This is a new technology still and people still do not know all the details.”
        You realize that this statement was true for literally every technology at some point in time, right?
        Should we ban cell phones because they are new tech? What about vaccines. I mean, we know they save lives, but some people still don’t know all the details… so should we ban such lifesaving technology?
        Now, fracking clearly isn’t lifesaving. But by making cheap natural gas readily available it makes it cheaper for people to heat their homes in using a means that causes very low air pollution and reduced green house gas emissions relative to other heating options. This makes it a valuable technology. Why should we give it up because some people don’t know all the details of how it works?

        Whether or not that contaminates the groundwater is a moot point…

        It’s not a moot point if you want to prevent groundwater contamination.
        Banning an activity that does not cause groundwater contamination (e.g. fracking), and as a result increasing the used of activities that cause groundwater contamination (e.g. drilling more conventional wells to make up for lost fracking production), is a recipe for increased groundwater contamination.
        Is the possibility for increased groundwater contamination due to a fracking ban something that you consider a “moot point”?
        What about the people who will no longer be able to afford to heat their homes if natural gas prices increase due to a fracking ban?

        Also, I should point out that the first arcticle you linked is a discussion of the article I posted. I’m familiar with all the evidence in it, and it supports my point that fracking per se does not cause groundwater contamination.

        The second article you linked appears to be about companies illegally disposing of fracking waste. Clearly such activity should be illegal… and already is. Should we ban fracking because people who do it sometimes break other laws? Or should we just enforce those laws better?

        Finally, this whole post of yours gives off a kind of anti-science vibe that I think you should examine. Why don’t you care to know if fracking causes contamination or not? Why are you defending ignorance?

    • Paul

      Though, looking at your past comments, you apparently really like to argue with people with no reason and/or evidence. So nevermind…

      • Tantalus

        I like to think that I like to argue with people when there is evidence that shows they are wrong.

        Pick a past post of mine and I’ll post some evidence that supports my argument.

        Although once again, I’m curious why you think these arguments are ‘without reason’. I like to engage in debate so that people (myself included) can come to know more about things we don’t know about.
        Do you think educating ourselves about topics we don’t know about is “without reason”?