I think I've mentioned before that I've never before been witness to a propaganda campaign of the scope underway here in North Texas, brought to us courtesy of the good folks at Chesapeake Energy.
It seems a day does not go by without me seeing Tommy Lee Jones' age worn craggy face shilling for Chesapeake Energy and Barnett Shale on my TV. And on billboards. And in the newspaper.
In this morning's Sunday Fort Worth Star-Telegram we were treated to yet one more full page Tommy Lee Jones Chesapeake Energy ad. This ad has Tommy saying "Texans can live with industry. We always have."
Tommy goes on to say, "We've been living with the Fort Worth Stockyards for a long time. If we weren't able to live with the stockyards there wouldn't be a Fort Worth."
The rest of the ad is not Tommy's words, just basic Chesapeake Energy propaganda. Like, "Short-term costs include some increase in traffic, noise and water use." And, "because prosperity tends to spread throughout a community...the Barnett Shale will put money into every level of our society."
The ad forgot to mention some of the other short-term costs, like dust clouds that clog air filters, bright lights, trees removed, yards dug up for pipelines, that sort of stuff.
I can sure see one way Chesapeake is giving back to the community. All the propaganda must cost a lot. In addition to the full page ads, Chesapeake has plastered its message on park benches, buses, billboards, TV, radio and I recently learned Chesapeake published a thick magazine called The Barnett Shale, The Official Magazine of Thriving on the Shale, 72 pages on thick stock paper, 30 articles telling you everything you need to know about the wonders that Chesapeake is bringing to North Texas.
What I don't get is if drilling for gas in an urban zone, laying pipelines through people's yards, cutting down people's trees, covering cars with dust, making a lot of noise, keeping people awake at night, drying up water supplies, while polluting other water supplies and occasionally blowing up is so good for us, why do we need to be subjected to all this propaganda? Wouldn't we just intuitively know that the Barnett Shale is just about the best thing that ever happened.