Monday, March 31, 2014

Public Opinion

I mentioned to a friend the other day that we were going to make another short documentary film about fracking, a kind of "FRACKING 101" for people who had heard about fracking but didn't really understand it. "Great," he said, "That's exactly what I need!" 

Apparently, he's not the only one. Almost half of the people in New York say they don't actually know what "fracking" means. Even some people who have watched our two latest films, No Second Chance and On Faith and Fracking are left with questions about this new technology. So this summer we'll be on the road again, shooting, interviewing and editing, to help more people understand what "fracking" means, and why the issue is so important.

The gas companies sure aren't going to do this for us. It's not by accident that their ads promoting "clean, natural gas" on TV don't mention the word "fracking." They know the word has a negative connotation, and they steer away from it whenever they can. I'm certain that many people who watch the ads and believe the gas company's fairy tale would probably oppose fracking in New York if they knew more about it. (See my previous blog below about the word "natural.")

In politics, the only thing more powerful than money is public opinion. And make no mistake, the battle over fracking is all about politics. Ultimately, Governor Cuomo's decision about whether or not to allow fracking in New York will be driven exclusively by public opinion. Patti came up with a brilliant idea for a slogan the other day: "You Want The Vote; We Want The Promise." Watch for the signs this fall!

If we expect to win the battle over fracking in New York, we're going to need to win the public opinion battle. This means talking to your neighbor, your family and your co-workers. Ask your priest or rabbi or minister to watch On Faith and Fracking and share it with your congregation. Ask your local town or county officials to watch No Second Chance.

None of us wants to look back in a few years and say, “We should have done more.”

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