Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Tommy Lee Jones and the Barnett Shale

Several energy companies, including one called Chesapeake, have been drilling holes in north Texas for several years now, tapping into this thing called Barnett Shale and using a controversial water process to fracture the shale and release natural gas.

As the drilling advanced right into the heart of the Dallas/Fort Worth urban zone there began to be an ever louder level of protest, particularly when places like Tandy Hills Park were threatened.

The threat to Tandy Hills led to the forming of a group known as the Eastside Rabblerousers. The group grew ever larger and ever louder. They began to help people all over D/FW fight back against the gas drillers. The main leader of the Eastside Rabblerousers, Don Young, along with others, started a well done website to help them wise people up to the drilling issue.

The Eastside Rabblerouser's success led to what is happening now. It's one of the strangest things I've seen. The energy companies, mostly Chesapeake Energy, for several months now, have been running a massive Orwellian, Sovietesque, Goebbels Worthy Propaganda Campaign.

Many of Fort Worth's public transit buses have been totally covered with signs saying things like "Thanks Barnett Shale for our Strong Economy." This when the city of Fort Worth has had to make massive layoffs of city employees due to a huge budget shortfall.

Dozens upon dozens of Chesapeake billboards litter the landscape almost on the scale of their drilling rigs. At some points on the freeway there are more than one Chesapeake billboard in a row hammering home the propaganda. The billboards repeat the messages on the buses, things like "Friends of Barnett Shale" and "Barnett Shale Helps Our Schools."

The propaganda slogans are repeated in full page ads in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, almost daily.

And then a couple weeks ago, new Chesapeake billboards appeared with actor Tommy Lee Jones being a shill, like you can see above with him saying, "Let's get behind the Barnett."

So, our lead Eastside Rabblerouser decided that maybe Tommy Lee Jones needed to be wised up as to what it is he is shilling for. This led to a letter writing campaign, with the letters sent to Tommy Lees Jones' residence in Texas.

Don Young sent me a copy of his letter to Tommy Lee Jones. It is a very good letter. I'll paste the last 4 paragraphs and you can go here to read the entire enlightening letter.

I’ll end this letter by telling you about the latest news from Chesapeake: I recently learned that they are proposing an 18" gas pipeline that will run through the front yards of four blocks of a residential street near my home. This is a quiet, well-established neighborhood.

Thanks to Chesapeake, nearly every tree on that side of the street will be cut down and new trees can never be planted over the pipeline. Some of those trees are over 100 years old. Most of those homes have kids and old folks living there who will miss those trees. Homeowners will never be able to recoup the value of their homes that sit 4 feet above a disaster waiting to happen.

This unbelievable scenario is no longer an isolated incident in Fort Worth. Why? Because companies like Chesapeake want to make more money and their ad campaign featuring you, Mr. Jones, is helping them do it.

I hope you will accept my offer to give you an unvarnished tour of Fort Worth in the near future. I want you to see with your own eyes how companies like Chesapeake Energy are turning Fort Worth into a Dirty Ol’ Town.

Don Young
Founder, Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area


B said...

Young’s Jonesin’ is an Old Script

It seems Don Young is a quasi-celebrity! He claims to know Tommy Lee Jones – by his movie roles!

No, they apparently have never met. In fact, I’d bet Young couldn’t even pick the academy award winning actor out of a crowd at the supermarket. No matter. Jones is appearing in Fort Worth television ads in support of development in the Barnett Shale.

And Young hates energy companies … and, apparently, he hates clean, affordable energy and less American reliance on foreign oil.

So he whined to the Star Telegram that, based on Tommy Lee’s film roles, Jones “… is not one who can be bought off …” by so-called “corrupt” energy companies exploring the Shale.

So, here’s Young’s logic -- Based on movie characters Jones has been handsomely paid to portray … Young says the actor can’t be bought?

Does that include Jones’ portrayal, in the 1995 film “Batman Forever,” of the twisted, diabolical Two Face?

Get real, Young. Because you’re anti-American, anti-economy, anti-energy tripe is reading like a tired, old script.

And ignoring factual reports that Jones conducted his own research, prior to participating in the ads, is plain dishonest. And it impugns the character of Jones, a man you likely will never even meet.

Just for the record, I don’t know Tommy Lee Jones. Never met him. I never met Bob Hope, either. But I’d never call Hope a sellout for doing all those USO tours in Vietnam.
I’d never call Charlton Heston a sellout for leading the National Rifle Association or for leading the Hollywood contingent in the 1960s march for civil rights.

Jones has a right to support whatever he wants, including energy production in the Barnett Shale. We all have that right … even if Don Young wants to deny it.

TXsharon said...

Jones can support anything he chooses. That's his right!

It is our (Don Young and I and others) right to be critical of him for his choices.

How easy it must be to take money for promoting something when you don't have to suffer any of the consequences or the thing you are promoting. I have more integrity though and I'm glad there are other celebrities who are more careful in their choices.