I had the opportunity to see the film “Truthland” when it was shown at the Hilton Hotel in Scranton. It was a good, solid presentation of facts and I especially enjoyed seeing it through Shelly’s eyes. It gave a down to earth look at the issues.
I had to speak up during the panel discussion.
Most people in Northeast and Central Pennsylvania know me. I spent 40 years in broadcasting, from radio to TV, serving as reporter, anchor and news director for the local ABC and CBS stations. I retired from TV news and now work in marketing for SCE Environmental Services in Lake Ariel, PA.
I got to tell you, all of you who are in the midst of the natural gas boom, thatyou are and will continue to be part of the “media feeding frenzy.” TheMarcellus and Utica regions will continue to generate news. The energycompanies will be under the microscope and reporters and cameras will at times be as common as a water truck.
In some cases, the focus of the story will be sensationalism. Can youimagine a reporter, a filmmaker, a documentary crew hearing that you can settap water on fire? Wow what video!
I used to hear a boss, reprimanding young reporters shout “disregard the facts, full speed ahead!” You are going to run into that a lot. And you MUST be careful you aren’t spoon fed a bunch of lies.
Thats why I liked “Truthland.” Shelly’s premise was don’t just take what you hear, check it out! It reminded me of what President Ronald Reagan used to say “trust, but verify!” If you saw “Gasland” you need to see “Truthland” if you hear something that raises questions in your mind, you need to get answers and there are lots of places and resources to get information.
During the panel discussion in Scranton, I spoke up. I have lived in this areamy whole life (60 years now shhh!) I am the grandson of coalminers. I have seen the economic erosion of my hometown, I have seen the migration out of our area of our kids because there was no opportunity to keep them here.
I have served on boards, commissions, and blue ribbon panels to keep and lure industry here. Now energy creates jobs, opportunity and a future. Sometimes I think we are so used to disappointment that we look forreasons to be cynical.
C’mon, natural gas has arrived. Trust but verify! Look for ways to betterunderstand what’s happening and guard yourself against the sensationalism that will tell you that because of fracking the world as we know it is about to end!
I got to tell you, the company I work for does a lot of work in theMarcellus fields. We are checked, rechecked and triple checked for safetyrecords, training and integrity. Thats why so many companies call on us.The energy companies we work with have very, very high and demanding standards. So do we. I live here too, my 8 kids live here, my 12 grandkids live here, I want to see the natural gas industry thrive, create opportunity and I want to do a good job that protects the environment.
If you were at the Scranton showing of “Truthland” you heard me say, “this is our time, this is our opportunity, we must stand together and protect it.” Igot a round of applause. Now lets stand together, and “trust, but verify.”
Frank Andrews is the Client Manager for The SCE Environmental Group in Lake Ariel, a full service contractor. He had worked as anchor/reporter and News Director for WNEP-TV and WYOU-TV and also worked for CBS Radio in Philadelphia.