Tuesday, June 28, 2011

NYT Reporter & Me On Radio Today

The NYT Reporter who wrote the Ponzi, Enron, Radiation stories will be on the Diane Rehm NPR show today.  The show originates in the Washington DC area.

Showtime is 10:00 am eastern.


  1. Concerned ScientistJune 28, 2011 at 9:41 AM

    Will you be on at the same time as Ian Urbina or will you be interviewed separately?

    I'd love to ask him if he is more interested in informing his readers or further confusing them in order to keep the story alive and sell papers. If he answered honestly, he might have to say that he is interested in keeping them confused and selling papers. The "controversy" about the Marcellus Shale has probably been great for paper sales. Just like the "controversy" about evolution and the "controversy" about global warming. People in the media don't want these stories to die because they bring out the passionate on both sides of the issue. A straight up article on the economics of shale gas would be great for informing readers but I guess they figure it would be terrible for future paper sales. They might be able to milk this "shale gas is a scam" narrative for a few more articles by selectively quoting anonymous officials and emails. When it all turns out to be wrong, as the radioactivity story was, instead of saying "we were wrong," they will just move on to the next fake controversy.

  2. Concerned ScientistJune 28, 2011 at 9:50 AM

    That all being said, there actually are some really good stories to write about real issues in the Marcellus Shale. Here are a few topics I'd love to see in depth stories on that would actually help readers become better informed:

    How all that shale gas royalty money changes lives for better or for worse

    The truck traffic/noise story (this would be an anti-shale gas story for the most part which is fine as long as it is real)

    The coal plant closing due to the rise of cheap shale gas story

    In depth comparison of the environmental impact of gas, oil, coal and nuclear

    A real look at how fast we can build wind, solar and other renewables and how long we will need fossil fuels. What are the main impediments to an all renewable energy future?

    How cultures are changing with the influx of jobs and workers

    The real water usage story (shale gas uses a lot but way less than many other industries and the public)

    The real methane migration story (interviewing people from the DEP who know what they are talking about)

    The real chemicals in the frack fluid story (interviewing people who know what they are talking about)

    How wells are drilled and fracked from A to Z

    The subsurface geology of PA, WV and NY

    The history of oil and gas development in the Appalachian Basin

    The history of regulation of the oil and gas industry

    The politics of shale gas - who does it help and who does it hurt? (I think the democrats need to quickly get behind this issue because it could swing things toward republicans in a significant way once people see that it is not as bad as many have made it out to be and that it is good for local economies. Dems are going to be fingered for wanting to "keep poor people down")

    How much methane actually leaks out during drilling and fracking? How much is flared? What are green completions? Which companies are using them? Should they be required?

    How much land is actually affected? How are views actually changed?

    Severance taxes - which states have them, how much revenue they bring in, what the states do with the money. I know Wyoming pays 2/3 of its public school budget with revenues from the oil and gas industry

    Ideas for camouflaging well sites and discussion of how to minimize surface impacts

    The impact of shale gas and shale oil on peak oil

    How recycling of waste water works and chances for going to 100% waste water recycling on all wells

    Lots of good stories to write

  3. John,
    You did an excellent job on the Diane Rehm Show this morning. I couldn't break away from my radio if I wanted to. I'm very disappointed in Diane for giving undisputed credence to Urbina. Between her show, and the NYTimes, my favorite media outlets are failing me alarmingly. I would like to see you have a more significant platform in a talkshow. Your track record with renewables alone is so much more compelling of media legitimacy than either of those one-sided and misinformed guests (save Seamus). thanks again for your candor and commitment.--Susan Oliver

  4. Thank you. I received a number of emails complaining about the show and the listeners sense that it was less than fair. I was not given a chance to address the Cornell prof's assertion that gas is as dirty as coal. It is Rehm's show and she wanted to hear from the Cornell prof and Urbina most of all. Both relentlessly bash gas. The format and her tight control of who is speaking make it impossible to engage directly. I would like to have engaged the NYT reporter directly but not possible. Again it is her show and she knows what she is doing and what she wants to get said. I also was asked what happened at the end. My line went dead at 10:56 or 4 minutes before the end. I did nothing to make it go dead. I appreciate the kind feedback.

  5. Thanks John!! I wrote the following on the drshow.org website comments section.. Diane:

    I have been listening (and contributing) to NPR and the dr show for years....and have to say I was very embarrassed and disappointed by the way you treated the gentleman from the Pennsylvania government.. and would like an apology please!!?

    I have at several times been very upset on other NPR shows you have conducted in which you have given other individuals air time to respond to criticism, but have always been willing to forgive or accept this because you seemed fair and polite.. And while I totally disagree with the idea of fracking (and johns position -- although he had a point about our energy dependence) -- Your treatment of him was completely rude, and uncalled for! Please respond!!?

    Thanks for attempting to be honest about our energy dependance.. And putting up with the rather rude behavior by the moderator.. Diane's treatment was uncalled for, and appreciate your attempt to stimulate honest conversation and discussions about this very complicated subject..