Pro-Fracking Spin on Public Radio Program 'America Abroad'

The monthly public radio program “America Abroad” ran a show with a strong pro-fracking spin. It comes as little surprise to learn that ExxonMobil and Chevron are both among the program’s general funders.


| June 05, 2013



Fracking Pipes

The show's lead interview was with MIT professor Henry Jacoby who heralds fracking as a clean technology, discounts renewable energies as currently unrealistic and supports the U.S. market switch to exporting liquefied natural gas.


Photo by Fotolia/3dmentat

Reposted wtih permission from FAIR, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting.

The April edition of the monthly public radio program America Abroad, "Global Energy and Innovations," sounded like an infomercial for the natural gas "fracking" industry. Which, in essence, is what it was.

The show, which is distributed by Public Radio International (PRI), began with host Madeleine Brand declaring: "Thanks to a breakthrough in the technology known as "fracking," the hydraulic fracturing of rock, the United States is enjoying a boom in cheap natural gas."

She went to say that "supporters argue that the new technology not only brings new jobs but also provides cleaner energy than coal."

And what do fracking opponents say? That's unclear; the counterpoint to fracking's boosters — "natural gas will do everything we want it to do," as one soundbite put it — is the observation that "some experts" think that cheap gas means "there's less incentive to develop clean, renewable energy."

The tilt in the episode isn't that surprising, considering who was paying for it. The show was underwritten by the Qatar Foundation International, controlled by the ruling family of the oil-rich nation, and the Stuart Family Foundation, funders of an array of conservative think tanks and advocacy groups.





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