Dear US Oil & Gas Industry:
I'm a liberal-minded guy who supports the development of domestic energy resources.
That makes me a minority, I know. But here's the thing: You can win over more liberal-minded people if you're smart about what you do with yesterday's EPA report that hydraulic fracturing is not poisoning the nation's water supply. For instance:
— Don't crow about the results of the EPA report and encourage your supporters to post "I told you so" comments on Facebook. Think instead: "We can do better."
— Admit your numerous errors and demonstrate what you're doing to correct them. Knock it off with "fracking is safe" messaging and, instead, issue a "zero tolerance" pledge to prevent any and all water contamination.
— Work with the government to develop ultra-strict fracking regulations. Be relentless in pursuing and punishing reckless drilling companies.
— Collaborate with communities to create local watchdog groups for early identification of problems in regions where you're doing a lot of work.
— Stop your incessant advocacy advertising and put the money to work creating safer technology with a smarter name than "fracking." Investing more in clean-energy technology would benefit us all in the long-term, too. (Just don't advertise it.)
If you believe that yesterday's EPA report will change the minds of your environmental opponents, you couldn't be more wrong.
The truth will NOT set you free unless you change the rhetoric you use to communicate it. You can make the most of this opportunity with humility, not hubris.
Sincerely, Frank J. Oswald