Landman’s Sleazy Handbook Found – a repost and explanation

April 15, 2011

Dear Readers,

I initially posted this story and its related document two days ago and then pulled it after several hours. Here is why I originally yanked it, and eventually re-posted it.

Upon originally skimming the Talking Points document, I felt it gave concrete proof of what the anti frack/ pro change movement has been charging all along. I thought the handbook was so chillingly manipulative and deliberate, it would contribute to the growing awareness and discontent. So I posted it

But after a second read, I began to wonder if it was legitimate. It seemed too blatant. Too contrived. How could someone be so naive and/or arrogant to print this? Perhaps it was a fabrication of some sort. I wondered. So I suspended the post and did a bit more searching and reasoning.

First, I thought back on how blatant and sophomoric the industry’s style has been thus far.

I recalled the first zoning meeting at the Luzerne County Courthouse. EnCana’s presenters were not their usual people like Joel Fox and Wendy Wiedenbeck. Rather, it was two young attractive women sporting cleavage and long legs. They were marketing lightweights, there for eye candy purposes only. How blatant! (Audrey Simpson has the whole thing on tape.)

Then I thought of Dimock. How violating!  The community was occupied and transformed by a soulless corporate entity with the full backing of an equally soulless state. And when people spoke up, they were spied upon and marginalized. Some day their survivors will win big law suits.

And then I considered the buying of Corbett, the lobbyists, billboards, commercials, sponsorships (compromising the likes of WVIA and Penn State), flag waving, “clean gas” propaganda, and “jobs, jobs, jobs,”… All the while: the violations, spills, accidents, explosions, deaths, injuries, dumping, diving land values, foreign investment, water depletion, well spoilage, lack of oversight, expedited permitting, and on and on…

Why these heartless bastards even put drill pads next to schools! Blatant!

So I came to the conclusion that these companies are capable of anything immoral, sophomoric, and stupid.

Secondly, the document is consistent with reports on landman tactics that I have heard and read.

And finally, larger web resources are reporting it: treehugger.com and AlterNet.

So, here it is again:

A post by John Trallo in the Susquehanna County Gas Forum:

For immediate release to all media outlets:
This document (see attached) marked: ” Proprietary – Do Not Distribute ” was ‘dropped’ by a land man and ‘fell’ into my hands.

This is a section of a ‘land man’s handbook’ on how to acquire oil/gas/mineral leases using false claims, misinformation, careful wording, half-truths, lies, and lying by omission. It clearly demonstrates that the oil and gas industry know exactly what they’re doing, and are completely aware of the ground water contamination, radiation, loss of property, loss of property value, and loss of quality of life. They know exactly how this industrialization will ruin a community.

This may be the most damaging evidence we have .

Pass this on to each and every investigative reporter, journalist, newspaper, environmental advocacy group, and legal defense group. Pass it on to all citizens who are concerned about the dangers of natural gas drilling, too.
John Trallo

See the document HERE: Talking Points for Selling Oil and Gas Lease Rights