Shane Thielges | Shale Plays Media
Today marked the beginning of the 2014 Shale Insight Conference, an annual shale development forum hosted by the Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry advocacy group. The conference offers a venue for energy companies and related businesses to share information on the state of the shale gas industry as well as providing workshops, public affairs training sessions and keynote addresses from industry and government leaders.
This year’s big-name guest speakers include Tom Corbett, governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Ridge, former Pennsylvania governor and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Bill Richardson, former New Mexico governor and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy and Sean Hannity, talk show host and author, as well as a host of other energy executives and media personalities.
Today’s events included discussions on corporate-public relations by Randy Cleveland, President of XTO Energy, a panel on Liquefied Natural Gas exports by representatives from Deloitte LLP, and a panel on groundwater protection by Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc.
The Marcellus Shale Coalition itself has announced it will begin a public relations campaign aimed at reclaiming what it says are negative connotations attached to the use of the word “fracking.”
“We’re going to break through the clutter of the messages and specifically go after the negative publicity surrounding the word ‘fracking’,” says Michael Pavone of the Harrisburg ad agency behind the campaign. “We use the opposition’s word and expand on how fracking is making a positive difference.”
The coalition will create a series of radio, television and print ads emphasizing how the shale industry has created jobs, lowered utilities costs and brought increased tax revenue to drilling states. Though the commercials will not endorse specific candidates, they are timed to coincide with the upcoming elections and to promote pro-drilling platforms.
The Conference will continue tomorrow with more panels and speeches, including those from big-name guests like Corbett and Hannity.