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When Environmentalists Team Up With Industry

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorJune 23, 2013 4:37 AM


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In March, several green groups, notably the Environmental Defense Fund, formed a partnership with Chevron and other energy companies to, as the LA Timesreported,

provide more stringent standards for fracking of natural gas in parts of the eastern United States.

The collaboration, which also includes several philanthropies, has been formalized with a non-profit organization called the Center for Sustainable Shale Development. Grist took note of the alliance, referring to it as "oxymoronically named." The initiative has been scorned by dozens of grassroots environmental groups and prompted Salon to recently ask:

Is the Environmental Defense Fund ruining environmentalism?

Oddly, that headline is divorced from the article's otherwise measured take on fracking. Still, I think it's safe to assume that any time a green group joins with industry to tackle a big problem, many environmentalists are going to cast a leery eye. Or not. From Grist, here's news of a similar new effort:

Wind industry and enviros team up to study bird deaths

Interestingly, I couldn't detect any sarcasm in this piece, unlike the one reporting on the shale gas/enviro alliance. Is it because Grist doesn't view the wind industry as villainous and untrustworthy as the oil & gas industry? Does the wind turbine industry get special dispensation from the environmental community because wind energy has the official green stamp of approval? Mind you, I'm not trying to whack the wind industry, whose most vocal opponents have latched on to junk science and fear mongering to advance their agenda. (Of course, many anti-fracking campaigners, it should be noted, are no less hysterical and loose with the truth to advance their own cause.) I'm just wondering if it's okay for greens to team up with one kind of industry but not another?


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