Rye Druzin |San Antonio Express-News| 9 Aug. 2016
Now that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have been crowned their parties’ respective nominees, a new candidate has stepped into the proverbial political ring: fracking.
Launched last week, Fracking for President is a social media campaign paid for by North Texans for Natural Gas, a grass-roots group that supports the natural gas industry that also started the social media campaign FrackFeed. Using a 60-second video clip, the campaign seeks to use the current political climate to promote the practice of fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, to extract oil and natural gas.
“We looked at the one candidate who had actually created jobs, helped the economy, increased national security, increased air quality, and that candidate was fracking,” said Courtney Loper, spokeswoman for Fracking for President and NTNG.
The campaign is being paid for by the lobbying group to the tune of the “low hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Loper said. She would not specify further, calling spending a “moving target” dependent on the success of the campaign. Sam Larson, senior account executive for Austin-based Harris Media, confirmed that the company has been running Fracking for President’s campaign through its social media accounts and content production. The company also runs FrackFeed.
The video on Fracking for President’s website used quotes from Trump and Clinton, with Trump’s coming from a 2012 tweet where he said, “Fracking will lead to American energy independence.”
Clinton’s quote, which came from an online fact sheet titled “Hillary Clinton’s Plan for Ensuring Safe and Responsible Natural Gas Production,” says: “Domestically produced natural gas has played a critical role in reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) and other pollutants.”
While Clinton’s statement does not mention fracking, Loper said that “natural gas at this point is primarily produced through hydraulic fracturing, so you can’t really separate the two.”
In a March Democratic debate, Clinton said, “I don’t support (fracking) when any locality or any state is against it … I don’t support it when the release of methane or contamination of water is present. I don’t support it … unless we can require that anybody who fracks has to tell us exactly what chemicals they are using. So by the time we get through all of my conditions, I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue to take place.”
Miryam Lipper, a regional communications director with Clinton’s campaign, referred via email to two online posts regarding the candidate’s policy on natural gas. Lipper would not respond to questions regarding the use of Clinton’s statements by the Fracking for President campaign to claim that she supports fracking, and would not say whether Clinton supports hydraulic fracturing.
Emails to Donald Trump’s campaign went unanswered.