BLOG: Examining the Issue of Bias in the Energy Industry

BLOG: Examining the Issue of Bias in the Energy Industry
Surveys reveal that Americans struggle with identifying facts from opinions in their news, and media bias is exacerbating the issue.

Those who have grown up in a climate in which they were told the oil industry is bad will expect that the oil industry will do bad things, said Epstein. And if they’ve been told that solar and wind industries are noble industries that are going to bring us a better future, then they’ll look for good things from those industries.

Epstein offered the following examples, “there’s an enormous amount of reporting of bird deaths from oil spills, but there’s not nearly as much interest in bird deaths from wind turbines, which are much greater,” he said. “And there’s a lot of interest in coal mining deaths, but there’s not as much interest in the mining deaths for raw materials and solar wind even though that’s a more dangerous mining process.”

“Unless [the media] is really clear about their framework and really commits to being evenhanded as part of their methodology, they’re going to engage in this bias reporting,” he said.

When telling its story to the media, Epstein said by framing the discussion beforehand, the oil industry will do better in making people receptive to the balance of facts.

Rather than the industry saying it’s trying to minimize negative impact, it should say it wants to allow people to flourish. Stating that as the goal and envisioning working in the industry as a way to accomplish that goal is more effective, said Epstein.

“Energy progress needs a guiding principal and that should be every human flourishing.”


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WHAT DO YOU THINK?


Generated by readers, the comments included herein do not reflect the views and opinions of Rigzone. All comments are subject to editorial review. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.

Peter Guske  |  July 05, 2018
The idea of, instead, emphasizing that FF enhance the human condition by saving lives, especially of children, by providing inexpensive, reliable HVAC, dramatically increasing life span and quality, improving water quality, bringing healthcare to remote areas, sparing vegetation/wildlife and the environment...all demonstrably true, especially when compared to the damage to the above created by rare earth metals mining, killing of birds, unreliability of the "alternatives" to provide enhanced healthcare, clean water and contributing to the demand for and stripping of vegetation/wildlife. I thought these were goals ALL could agree on?! On balance, with regard to these goals, which form of energy has done better? It should be an easy choice. Unless, of course, that is really not your goal at all. Maybe, just maybe, it's still the age old, socialism vs capitalism? Hhmmm...
Randy Verret  |  June 21, 2018
One thing the industry can do is STOP touting economic benefits as the first & most relevant issue in just about any situation. The environmental activists have (now) been working for DECADES to tarnish the oil & gas industry's image, so it will take a concerted, grass roots effort and a coherent, fact based media approach to begin shifting that paradigm. The environmental stewardship, responsible energy development & REAL alternatives in the transition away from fossil fuels need to be the primary focus moving forward. Jobs & economic output (then) are mainly the "icing" on the cake...