The late Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” In their campaign to ban hydraulic fracturing, opponents of fracking conflate opinion with fact.
And sometimes they just make stuff up. Exhibit A: This action alert from Food & Water Watch.
I live a short walk from the Community College of Philadelphia. This DC-based group is so concerned about “our community” that it couldn’t even bother taking a photo of a real CCP student. Instead, it used a stock photo of a generic college student. What else are they faking?
Fact is, nearly 74 percent of CCP’s students are minority; African Americans represent approximately 57 percent of the total enrollment.
Fact: The nation’s overall unemployment rate is 7.9 percent. The black unemployment rate is 13.8 percent. In Philadelphia, the jobless rate is 11.1 percent. A whopping 50 percent of black men are unemployed. So, rather than blow smoke about alleged water contamination, Food & Water Watch should shed light on those “jobs in stable industries that will stick around.” Where are they?
In his second inaugural address, President Obama noted that new technologies in the energy sector “will power new jobs and new industries.” Those new technologies include fracking. The CCP Energy Training Center is preparing underserved minorities for the jobs of the future.
In a press release, CCP President Stephen M. Curtis, PhD said:
Our region is home to the largest refinery on the East Coast, which is adding jobs and expanding the base of businesses that work in the energy supply chain. The Center positions the College to support regional partners in identifying the skills training and education required to fill the sector’s vacant positions and increase workforce readiness.
With energy jobs so readily available, leading companies need workers with specialized technical skills, as well as frontline employees equipped to handle daily tasks such as accounting, bookkeeping, sales, office management and customer service. The goal is to support the supply chain now serving energy companies and offer specialized career training that connects residents to the high-pay, high-demand career paths.
Oh, the horror! If the folks at Food & Water Watch had visited the college, they would know that CCP’s mission is to put students on “the path to possibilities.” It is, after all, hanging from the banner on a light pole.
Facts are stubborn things. In the next few weeks, I will launch a website where I will curate fact-based news and information about shale gas developments in Pennsylvania. To receive notice when the site is live, send me an email.