Natural gas companies are wasting no time before attempting to sway a Fort Worth air quality study in their favor.
As a City Hall-named committee charged with designing the study began its discussions Wednesday, representatives of Chesapeake Energy, Devon Energy and XTO Energy insisted that any findings of contaminated air around natural gas facilities be examined "in context."
That's how the gas industry's PR machine tries to deflect any blame for poisonous air. The argument goes like this:
Well, yes, benzene causes cancer. And yes, benzene is one of the hazardous chemicals that can be brought to the surface and escape into the air as a result of natural gas drilling and related activities. But measurable levels of benzene can also come from many other sources, like the gasoline station down the street or the road paving project two blocks away. You can't blame it all on us.
That's good spin, just enough truth in it to throw the gullible off guard.