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What you need to know about Mlive article headlined, “What you need to know before you lease your land for oil & gas exploration”

October 29, 2012

Mlive posted a second story relating to oil & gas land leasing today, with the second one providing information about a meeting this Thursday in Holland at Olive Township Hall.

This second oil & gas related story includes some rehashing of information from the first story and uses former Michigan Lt. Governor Dick Posthumus as the poster child for what is looks like to lease your land to private oil & gas companies looking to extract more fossil fuels in the state of Michigan.

However, the bulk of the story uses the perspective of Curtis Talley Jr, which the MLive reporter refers to as a “farm management educator.” Talley will not only be hosting the meeting on Thursday in Holland, he will be one of the “experts” letting area property owners know what they need to do if they are approached by oil & gas companies to lease their land.

In addition, to how to go about selling mineral rights to oil & gas companies, Talley is likely to answer questions and share information on hydraulic fracturing since that is the issue that is being raised by residents and environmental groups in recent months.

If Talley follows the same process he did at a meeting he hosted in Macomb County, they he will be sharing information that is pro-fracking and uses sources from the oil & gas industry.

In a handout Talley gave to those who attended the Macomb County meeting in September, one would find several instructive bits of information from a man who works for the MSU Extension.

The handout includes on page 2 comments about the “excitement” surrounding the growing interest in leasing land to oil & gas companies. Here Talley mentions “concerns” that people have about fracking, but the sources that he sites to put those concerns to rest is a link to the oil & gas industry group known as Frac-Focus. Frac Focus is run by two entities, the Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission. Both groups are a partnership between the state and oil & gas industry with no independent representation.

Talley also has a section which discusses chemicals used in fracking, but this section is entitled, AMERICAN PETROLEUM INSTITUTE BEST PRACTICES FOR

GROUNDWATER QUALITY AND TESTING. Again, the group Frac-Focus is sited as the source that will answer concerns people have about chemicals used during fracking. What Talley doesn’t tell people in the handout and is not likely to tell people is that Frac-Focus is a site for the oil & gas industry to self-post information on the testing they have done in regards to chemicals and ground water. This should raise red flags for anyone, since the oil & gas industry has a horrendous track record when it comes to the environmental and human health consequences of drilling for oil & gas.

Lastly, it is worth noting that Curtis Talley has information on the movie Gasland and the petroleum industry fake-movie response TruthLand.

For those who want to listen to an hour-long presentation, with slides, from Curtis Talley on the matter of leasing land to oil & gas companies and fracking, go to this link and you will hear for yourself that Talley is an apologist for the industry, something that MLive does not acknowledge in their story.

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