Marketing Hydraulic Fracturing to Kids? Introducing the (Shameless) Fracking Coloring Book

 Rachel Maddow's trusty blog points us to the latest weird and grotesque gas industry marketing ploy: a pro-fracking coloring book for kids, complete with a cartoon dinosaur called "Fracosaurus" that jovially "teaches" kids about a "clean energy source called natural gas." 

The fracking industry must be desperate -- the Calgary-based firm Talisman Energy, who published this thing, in particular. Does it think these kids are going home to their parents and throwing a fit until they endorse fracking? Says the Maddow blog:

The coloring book's overt message -- drilling is smart, safe and American -- is delivered in kid-friendly fashion, glossing over the environmental and economic controversies that have surrounded drillers tapping the Marcellus Shale rock formation for lucrative pockets of gas.

The Marcellus Shale formation is named for the town in New York State where there's a lot of it -- the same New York State where fracking is banned through at least next summer. But Talisman Energy would have us believe "Talisman Terry," the pro-fracking dinosaur, who tells us that the process is just setting that natural gas "free" from the underground rocks that imprison it! That bad, bad New York State, keeping all that natural gas in the ground!

(More sunshine-and-rainbows talk -- literally -- about fracking can be found throughout the coloring book, which you can download here [pdf].) 

As Grist notes, it calls to mind the later-proven-to-be-a-hoax Peabody Coal website,, which offered Justin Bieber-branded inhalers to kids living near coal plants. Sadly, this coloring-book-as-fracking-propaganda-for-children is actually real.

 The objective of the book is nonetheless confusing. Perhaps, with all the adult disdain for fracking, the industry's banking on its future, when kids want to rebel against their parents? "Screw you dad, I'll do whatever I want! I'll support fracking!" No? If you have any thoughts, please enlighten us in the comments.


AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at June 25, 2011, 6:22am

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