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DeSmogCAST Episode 1 Drilling Down: Fracking, Lobbying and the U.S. Midterm Elections

This week DeSmog is launching its inaugural episode of DeSmogCAST, a weekly newscast featuring our writers, experts and invited guests. Each week we’ll discuss breaking stories and engage in analysis of politics, energy and environment issues in the U.S., Canada and around the world.

In this episode, hosted by DeSmog contributor Farron Cousins, our team discusses Steve Horn’s recent story on the new Post Carbon Institute report that calls into question the viability of forecasts for oil and gas production via fracking.

A Horn explains, “if you look at this report it second guesses a lot of the estimates put out by the Energy Information Agency in the States.”

“There’s a concept called the drilling treadmill in industry: you have to drill more and more just to maintain productivity. Which means all the things we know about, water contamination, climate change impact, on a county by county basis across the U.S. those happen all over the place just so industry can maintain flat levels of production.”

“It’s a story of false premises,” Horn adds.

We also discuss a recent story by DeSmog contributor Chris Rose on SHARE’s new report that details shadowy lobbying by Canadian corporations in the U.S. in the lead up to the midterm elections. Major Canadian companies like TransCanada, the proponent of the Keystone XL pipeline, are funneling money into U.S. politics through Political Action Committees and other non-profit front groups. As the report details this corporate money is moving across the border with little to no disclosure.

DeSmogBlog Executive Director Brendan DeMelle explains how several ballot initiatives to ban fracking in California are being fought by the oil and gas industry and their well-funded front group, Californians for Energy Independence. Already Californians for Energy Independence has received nearly $8 million dollars to fight these ballot initiatives that would ban fracking in regions across the state.

“What you’re seeing is the oil industry spending an ungodly amount of money to stop citizen’s petitions to their governments for protection from this industry,” DeMelle says. “What we’re seeing is the oil industry versus the American citizenry.”

Image Credit: Drill pads in Texas by Amy Youngs via Flickr

Carol Linnitt is a journalist, editor, illustrator and co-founder of The Narwhal. Carol has been reporting on energy and environmental…

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