This week, members of the North Carolina Legislature are expected to take up the Clean Energy and Economic Security Act (Senate Bill 820 for those keeping track at home), which would legalize fracking in the state. While many of our lawmakers ignore the proven environmental perils the drilling practice poses, the energy industry's spin doctors are hard at work: ExxonMobil and their drill-crazy cohorts are trying to convince you that injecting millions of gallons of contaminated water beneath the ground to fracture rock and release natural gas deposits can be done without consequence. And besides, it's all worth it, because fracking will lead to America's "energy security," even though the gas could—and would—be sold to other nations.
The spin doctors never use the f-word because it presents a public relations problem. The word "fracking" is too close to the word "fucking"—as Battlestar Galactica fans know—and its permutations: Frack it, fuck it. And so on.
We got to thinking: If we were greenwashing professionals, how would we rebrand fracking to make it sound noble, conscientious—even sexy? Here are a few suggestions.
- Methane emancipation
- Subsurface massage
- Horizontal catharsis
- Shale enhancement
- Aquifer beautification
- Groundwater revival
- Drill-facilitated stimulation
- Extraction therapy
- Seismic makeover
- Chemically assisted purification
- Dinosaur reclamation