Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Energy-in-Depth (EID): The “GAS”roots

Energy-in-Depth (EID):  The “GAS”roots
Marcellus Shale Players

On January 6, 2012 a Fracking and Nuisance Litigation meeting took place in Montrose, Pennsylvania. 

Energy-In-Depth’s (EID) - Northeast Marcellus Initiative Field Directors Bill desRosiers and Nicole Jacobs, along with Helen Humphries, Senior Corporate Communications Specialists for the Williams Company, attempted to attend the meeting.  They were asked to leave, as the purpose of the meeting was to meet with people wishing to seek litigation against the Natural Gas industry and share information on this matter.  

The following day,  “Bill” desRosiers published a blog entry on the EID-Northeast Marcellus Initiative website entitled “You’re Not Welcome Here” – This Is Transparency?”. 

Approximately, 2 weeks later, an article appeared on We Are Powershift website, entitled “From Township Planning Consultant to Fracker: Tom Shepstone” by Alexander Lotorto.   EID-Northeast Marcellus Initiative followed up immediately with  Who Is Alex Lotorto, Well Street Occupier?” by Giles Howard, a Guest Blogger.

I would not be surprised to find an EID blog entry entitled “Who is Dory Hippauf?”, to appear within hours of publication.   Who is Dory Hippauf?  I’m a 56yr old woman, I moved to a small town in the Back Mountain area of Northeast Pennsylvania about 14 years ago from Massachusetts.   I am the Research Committee Chair for the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition of Luzerne County.   I hold no degrees in economics, the corporate world, or politics.   I have an AA in Graphic Design, and an AS in CAD drafting.  I am currently employed as a CAD Drafter.   I have a great deal of curiosity in how corporations have influenced our government and our lives, and this led me to start “Connecting the Dots”.    All the information I have and will present is easily found on the internet using Google, and I do cite my sources.

In the interest of transparency, Part 3 of the Connecting the Dots series will be asking “Who Is EID”.   

According to SourceWatch "Energy in Depth (EID) is a pro-oil-and-gas drilling industry front group formed by the American Petroleum Institute, the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and dozens of additional industry organizations for the purpose of denouncing legislation proposed by Colorado U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette to regulate underground hydraulic fracturing fluids."

In 2009, EID mounted a fierce “rebuttal” campaign against the documentary film, GASLAND, by Josh Fox.  EID sent a letter to Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences stating Gasland should be ineligible for nomination because it was based on inaccuracies.   EID also published several blog entries “debunking” the film. 

The funding sources for EID include: Anadarko, BP, Chevron, El Paso Corporation, EnCana, Halliburton, Marathon, Occidental Petroleum, Schlumberger, Shell API, Talisman and XTO Energy. 

EID has two satellite branches:  EID-Northeast Marcellus Initiative which covers Pennsylvania and New York area, and EID- The Ohio Project which focuses on gas/oil drilling in Ohio.  If you have clicked on these links, you will see nice profile pictures, each person’s EID Title, and a “hometown”.   The purpose of this is to may you feel more connected to EID, especially if you recognize the hometown, as in “Gee, these are nice people, they are from my home town.”  This is a time honored public relations tactic, used by many ad agencies to sell you products, and politicians to make them seem more “likeable”.  Public Relation firms know you will be more apt to believe someone who appears to have a connection to you, as opposed to someone you don’t know.

The “grassroots” initiative was launched around May 2011 by EID.  According to the website Marcellus Drilling News: “EID has also launched a major new grassroots initiative now spreading from county to county in the region.”   

Marcellus Drilling News further states “The program, known as EID’s “Northeast Marcellus Initiative,” calls for the hiring of several full-time organizers charged with engaging and educating the region’s many supporters of the Mighty Marcellus, and providing them with the tools they need to act. Led on the ground by campaign manager and well-known local natural gas advocate Tom Shepstone, the initiative is already up-and-running in several counties across the region, with field organizers now in place in Luzerne, Lycoming and Wayne Counties, Pa. – all with reach into New York State.”

EID is not grassroots.  EID’s “GAS”roots extend from the front groups, Corporations, Public Relations, to the halls of Congress. 

The Messengers:
The registrant information for the EID website is listed as FD Dittus Communications.   Dittus Communications went through various incarnation. FD in Dittus Communications stands for Financial Dynamics.  Dittus Communications became known as FD Americas Public Affairs, and later FD Americas was rebranded as FTI Consulting.

            FD Americas: A unit of UK-based strategic and financial communications consultancy             FD, FD Americas Public Affairs (formerly Dittus Communications) offers public relations,  marketing communications, and issue advocacy services. The firm provides the usual  corporate services (media relations, corporate communications, and crisis           management) plus public affairs services (issues management, legislative strategy,          grassroots organizing and coalition building) as well as marketing, creative, and design    services. Clients have included Kraft Foods, Dell, the US Department of Energy, and          International Paper. The firm was founded in 1993. 

            FTI Consulting: global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations          protect and enhance their enterprise value, today announced that Financial Dynamics (FD), the Strategic Communications practice of FTI Consulting, has adopted the FTI  Consulting brand globally. FD now will be known as the Strategic Communications practice of FTI Consulting.

The original founder and CEO of Dittus Communications is Gloria Dittus, and  became CEO and President of FD Dittus-Strategic Communications.  

Ms Dittus is now the founder of Story Partners.  Per Story Partners website: a public affairs firm focused on helping trade associations, corporations and coalitions amplify their story through carefully aligned online and offline campaigns designed to drive public policy debates. (emphasis added)

EID Players:
Lee Fuller is the Executive Director of EID, he is also the Vice President of Government Relations for the Independent Petroleum Association of America.  According to Open Secrets, the top industry represented by Mr. Fuller was Oil & Gas.   

Regarding Gasland, "The filmmaker alternates between misstating and outright ignoring basic and verifiable facts related to the impact of these activities on the health and welfare of humans, wildlife and the environment," said Lee Fuller, executive director of Energy in Depth (EID), in a letter (pdf) today to the academy.

Jeffery “Jeff” Eschelman is listed as Executive Vice President at EID.  In addition to his position at EID he is the Vice President of Public Affairs & Communication at the Independent Petroleum Association of America and former employee of Dittus Communications. 
Julia Bell: Researcher at EID, and Public Affairs & Communications Coordinator for the Independent Petroleum Association of America.

Chris Tucker: EID Team Lead, Spokesperson, and Advisor for – you guessed it – the Independent Petroleum Association of America.  Mr. Tucker is more closely associated with the EID-Marcellus Initiative branch as Team Leader and Blogger.

                  $10,300: Devonian Resources (Energy Conservation and Management                                                                                         Consultants) Top Single Contributor
                  $35,500: Oil & Gas Top Industry Sector Contributor                 
  • Former Communications Advisor for House Minority Whip Rep Roy Blunt R-MO, (elected as Senator in 2008).
                  2008 Senate Campaign:
                              $23,300: Chevron, 2nd highest individual contributor
                              $128,250: Oil & Gas, 3rd highest industry sector contributor
                  2010 Senate Campaign:
                              $32,173: Murray Energy, 15th highest individual contributor
                              $29,200: Koch Industries, 16th highest individual contributor
                              $28,800: Exxon Mobil, 17th highest individual contributor
                              $342,050: Oil & Gas, 7th highest industry sector contributor

Dana Bohan: EID Staff Geologist
      Junior Associate - Strategic Communications - Energy Sector: FTI Consulting


Steven “Steve” Everly: EID Spokesperson
      Assistant Vice President: FTI Consulting Financial Dynamics
            The strategic communication division of FTI Consulting, Financial Dynamics                               helps ensure that its clients’ brand, reputation and market valuation reflect the              true worth of their businesses.
     
      Columnist: Townhall.com
             Steve Everley is Manager of Policy Research at American Solutions and a contributing author to To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular- Socialist Machine by Newt Gingrich. Prior to joining AmericanSolutions, Everley worked as a research assistant at the American   Enterprise Institute. He graduated summa cum laude from the University  of Kansas and attended graduate school at the University of Southern   California. (emphasis added)
           
Nicole Jacobs: EID- Northeast Marcellus Initiative Field Organizer.
            Independent Consultant - Shalenet
            Shalenet operates through a grant from Department of Labor, Employment and               Training Administration to provide the gas industry with a local workforce.  Key partners include 15 Workforce Investment areas (not named), focusing on Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and New York, PA Independent Oil an Gas   Association, Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association (PIOGA) the Veterans Administration, Allegheny Conference on Community Development,  Broome Community College, Eastern Gateway Community College, Pennsylvania College of Technology,  West Virginia Northern Community  College and Westmoreland County Community College.

ShaleNet operates out of Pennsylvania College of Technology which is affiliated                          with Penn State.

Brian Kennedy Per: NATURAL GAS: BP, others push against federal regulation of fracturing, Brian Kennedy is cited as a spokesman for Energy In Depth.  Although, Mr. Kennedy is cited as spokesman in this and others articles, there is no sign of him the the Energy In Depth websites.

            "This language seems to be a restatement and endorsement of policies and procedures the industry has been following for decades, as mandated by federal, state and local  laws," said Brian Kennedy, a spokesman for Energy In Depth. "To the extent the    language helps clarify the existing framework and highlight its overwhelming success to             date, it could be a valuable educational tool moving forward." (emphasis added)

                        Rep. Richard Pombo lost his re-election bid in 2006 to Jerry McNerney.
                        "Rep. Richard Pombo's loss represents the most significant electoral victory the environmental movement has seen in decades," said Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund. "It should  now be clear to all that we have the political strength to take on and defeat  extreme anti-environmental politicians."

 Environmentalists opposed Pombo for efforts to rewrite species protections and increase oil drilling in Alaska and off-shore while fundraising from industry groups. He also faced questions about ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who pleaded guilty in a congressional influence peddling scandal.

                        2006 Campaign:
                                    $34,800: Chevron, 2nd highest individual contributor
                                    $197,648: Oil & Gas, 4th highest industry sector contributor

                 
                  Campaign 2010:
                              $58,100: Murray Energy, 2nd highest individual contributor
                              $47,800: FirstEnergy Corp, 3rd highest individual contributor
                              $369,772: Electric Utilities, 4th highest industry sector contributor
                              $185,650: Oil & Gas, 14th highest industry sector contributor


Rhonda Reda: EID – The Ohio Project, Executive Director
Ms. Reda currently serves on the Public Outreach Committee of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) and the Colonial Drake Well  Historical “Oil150” Steering Committee. She is an active member of theIndependent Petroleum Association of America, the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the Ohio Geological Society. Recently, Ms. Reda served on  the White House Task Force on Energy Education, and has received numerous state and national awards for OOGEEP’s efforts including: AAPG Eastern Section’s Presidential Award for Public Outreach, Friend of Science  Award from the Science Council of Ohio, EPA’s Ohio Environmental Education Award for Outstanding Program, World Oil Runner Up for Best Public Outreach  Program, Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Minerals Education Award,  and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission’s Public Outreach Stewardship Award. Ms. Reda is a graduate of both Ohio University and Edison State College.

Thomas Stewart: EID – The Ohio Project, Executive Vice President
Travis Windle : EID Presenter.  Although Travis Windle’s name does not appear on any of the EID websites, he was cited as a presenter on a powerpoint presentation: THE MARCELLUS SHALE: Powering America’s Future,Thanks to Hydraulic Fracturing, dated October 14, 2010, and the email cited is for Mr. Windle at EID.

More recently, Mr. Windle has been cited as Spokesman for the Marcellus Shale Coaltion:
           
Likewise, Marcellus Shale Coalition Spokesman Travis Windle said the closure of any one   well will have little to no impact on those using it for waste disposal.”

 2006 Campaign: $17,938: K&L Gates, 4th Highes Individual Contributor. 
K&L Gates represents leading global corporations, and growth  middle-market companies, capital markets participants and  entrepreneurs in every major industry group as well as public sector  entities, educational institutions, philanthropic organizations and  individuals.

                  Committee Assignments:
                  Education and LaborTransportation and Infrastructure
                  Leadership PAC: Badger Fund


Every “play” has it’s supporting cast of character, some more supportive than others.  The supporting players may operate on the periphery acting both independently and in concert with the main players.  Supporting players may be just that – supporting as a choir or echo chamber.

Supporting Players:
Robert P Murphy is also a columnist at Townhall.com
Robert P. Murphy is an economist with IER specializing in climate change. His research focuses on the proper discount rate to be used in cost-benefit analyses and the implications of structural uncertainty for policy solutions.
                                               
Per SOURCEWATCH: The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is a state-level conservative policy think tank in Michigan. Founded in 1987, it is the largest state-level think tank in the nation. It was  established by the state's leading conservative activists to promote  free market, pro-business policies. The Center voices its policy  positions though publications and has moved beyond Michigan by  helping the leaders of similar conservative institutions to improve  their operations in many other states and countries around the world.
            Per SOURCEWATCH: founded in 1989 from a predecessor non-profit organisation,                   advocates positions on environmental issues including deregulation of utilities, climate             change denial, and claims that conventional energy sources are virtually limitless. It is a             member of the Sustainable Development Network.
                                               
 Robert L. Bradley Jr:  Chief Executive Officer and President.
Currently a member of the International Association for Energy Economics, the American Economic Association, Southern Economic Association, and the  American Historical Association.   Former Director of Public Relations Policy  at Enron.

Campaigns
 In 2009 IER ran a campaign on "green jobs" attacking the expansion of renewables energies. IER commissioned three studies on renewable energies and green jobs in Denmark, Germany and Spain. These studies by different think tanks were than promoted by IER and other free market think tanks in the US but also used in Europe.

 American Energy Alliance is a "partner" of Institute for Energy Relations and the same people work for both.

The American Energy Alliance (AEA) was founded in 2008 by Thomas Pyle, who previously lobbied on behalf of the National   Petrochemical and Refiners Association and Koch Industries  and who previously worked for Congressman Tom Delay (R-TX), when Delay served as Whip and before Delay, as House  Majority Leader, stepped down from the U.S. House of   Representatives under an ethical cloud. (emphasis added)













 








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