LAT, Sac Bee fracking coverage: Same old glaring omission

LAT, Sac Bee fracking coverage: Same old glaring omission

Here we go again. On Friday, the state government released its draft fracking regulations.

And while in their coverage, the Sacramento Bee and the Los Angeles Times cited environmentalists’ dire warnings about fracking, the papers once again made a gigantic omission: They don’t note the Obama administration says it’s safe.

obama.politico.frackingThat’s right — the greenest president ever says it’s safe. On the 2012 campaign trail, Barack Obama liked to boast that fracking had made the U.S. “the Saudi Arabia of natural gas.” That’s why greens are unhappy with him, as the recent Politico headline shows.

Why isn’t this relevant in California?

For a classic example of horrible CA fracking coverage, check out this quote from Sally Jewell, Obama’s secretary of the interior:

“I know there are those who say fracking is dangerous and should be curtailed, full stop. That ignores the reality that it has been done for decades and has the potential for developing significant domestic resources and strengthening our economy and will be done for decades to come.”

NYT quotes Obama aide on fracking safety; LAT quotes flack

That’s what she said at a May 17 news conference on federal fracking rules. The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times both covered the conference. Guess which paper cited Jewell as testifying to fracking’s safety, and guess which paper cited an oil-industry group.

Bingo. The New York Times matter of factly noted that Jewell, and thus the Obama administration, see fracking as safe. But not the L.A. Times.

“‘States have been successfully regulating fracking for decades, including on federal lands, with no incident of contamination that would necessitate redundant federal regulation,’ said Kathleen Sgamma, vice president of government and public affairs for Western Energy Alliance, a Denver-based trade group.”

Why would LAT reporters Neela Banerjee and Wes Venteicher think Sgamma’s view on fracking’s safety was worth quoting but not Interior Secretary Sally Jewell’s?

1) Incompetence

2) Incompetence + Bias

3) Incompetence + Pack Journalism

4) Incompetence + Bias + Pack Journalism

Because it absolutely is not …

5) Good Journalism

I’m still waiting for a single logical explanation as to why California journalists always omit the president’s views on fracking, which would go a long way toward countering green claims.

For now, the most logical assumption is that green journos don’t want to counter green claims.

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