The Corrupt World of Fractivism and Its Champions

Corrupt world of fractivism - Tom Shepstone reportsTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW


The corrupt world of fractivism and its champions is a sordid one of sleaze, influence peddling, rainmaking and useful idiots. 

When one stands back from the world of fractivism and gives it a dispassionate objective look, the corruption that pervades it stands out in sharp contrast from the real world in which most of us reside. Indeed, the fractivism script is so corrupt and so bizarre as to be unbelievable to all but those of us who’ve witnessed it up close. Several examples illustrate the point.

corrupt world of fractivism - bonnieA little over two years ago I did a couple of posts (here and here) for Energy In Depth on the subject of a sleazy tabloid publication called The Flowback, which was published by an individual by the name of Bonnie Jean Reynolds. I noted at the time that Ms. Reynolds was a former actress, dancer, model, magician’s assistant and novelist who, in addition to running a farm sanctuary, engaging in mental telepathy with animals and attacking natural gas development, also claimed to have experienced poltergeist activity and was a self-declared UFO expert. The Flowback, which, among other outrages, implied a picture of mountaintop mining in West Virginia was an example of fracking destruction, was financed with the help of the Sustainable Markets Foundation.

Last week The Villager, self-described as “the paper of record for Greenwich Village, East Village, Lower East Side, Soho, Union Square, Chinatown and Noho” in Manhattan, included this tidbit on the appearance of Walter Hang at an “an anti-fracking forum organized by Assemblymember Deborah Glick.” Hang, described as “an environmental consultant based in Ithaca” and Glick were said to have “urged voters a week before Election Day to step up the pressure on Governor Cuomo to ban hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in New York State.” Hang, in fact, said this, according to the Villager:

“We’ve been driving the governor crazy [with demonstrations and messages] and we have to keep it up.”

Walter Hang’s firm Toxic Targeting, which he freely acknowledges was created with help from the Rockefeller family, has, according to 990 returns filed with the Internal Revenue Service and filings with the New York State Attorney General’s office, been paid $1,359,626 through August 31, 2013, by the Sustainable Markets Foundation for its work in “driving the governor crazy.”

Gas Free Seneca, a group of propane users organized to fight propane and natural gas storage facilities in Schuyler County, New York has been integrally involved in several recent incidents in protest of the proposed facilities, encouraged by leader Bill McKibben. Gas Free Seneca raises funds for its activities through the Sustainable Markets Foundation. McKibben’s organization is an off-shoot of the Sustainable Markets Foundation, a Rockefeller Brothers Fund funded entity.

Corrupt World of Fractivism

Wide-eyed Bill McKibben addressing Gas Free Seneca fundraiser by video on Oct. 9.

Tomorrow, a conference entitled “Protecting Communities from Fracking’s Collateral Damage” will take place at Ithaca College. Speakers include a representative of Gas Free Seneca, the Delaware Riverkeeper Maya van Rossum, David Slottje, Nadia Steinzor from Earthworks and Reed Steberger, a “Direct Action Trainer who has worked with and others” who will discuss “civil disobedience as a tool: goals and effectiveness.” The event is sponsored by The Coalition to Protect Communities from Fracking’s Collateral Damage and the following:

Catskill Mountainkeeper; The Committee to Preserve the Finger Lakes; Concerned Health Professionals of New York; Delaware Riverkeeper; Dryden Resource Awareness Coalition; Earthworks; Elected Officials to Protect New York; Food & Water Watch; Gas Free Seneca; Ithaca College Department of Environmental Sciences; New Yorkers Against Fracking; Otsego 2000; People for a Healthy Environment; Ratepayer and Community Intervenors; Riverkeeper; Sane Energy Project; Stop the Pipeline; Tompkins County Council of Governments.

The use of the term “collateral damage” is interesting, given that’s the term the Park Foundation has used to describe the impacts of its anti-development policies on low and moderate income Upstate New York residents and we note the Park Foundation has directly or indirectly, through the Sustainable Markets Foundation, funded most of these organizations. The Park Foundation has been funding the Sustainable Markets Foundation for several years now, in fact, and here are their grants in support of the latter’s fractivism just this year and last:

Park Foundation Grants to Sustainable Markets Foundation – 2014
  • Continued Marcellus Shale-related activities in New York, including research, advocacy, media outreach, internet mapping, and grassroots organizing – $50,000
  • General operating support for Energy Policy Forum – $30,000
  • Coordinate the broad movement of opposition to shale gas drilling in New York – $75,000
  • Mothers Out Front‘s organizing expansion into New York State – $10,000
Park Foundation Grants to Sustainable Markets Foundation – 2013
  • Continued Marcellus Shale-related activities in New York, including research, advocacy, media outreach, internet mapping, and grassroots organizing – $50,000
  • General operating support for Elected Officials to Protect New York – $20,000
  • General operating support for Frack Action – $60,000
  • General operating support for Fleased, a group representing and educating landowners who hold gas leases – $30,000
  • Elected Officials to Protect New York, a statewide campaign to coordinate a movement of local lawmakers in New York State to advocate for the continued moratorium on shale gas drilling – $15,000
  • Its efforts to help coordinate the broad movement of opposition to shale gas drilling in New York – $75,000
  • Energy Policy Forum and its on-going research and reports on the financial anomalies of shale gas production – $20,000

That’s $455,000 in just the last two years and 2014 has more to go. Also, significant is the fact Jay Halfon, the guy who ran the NY-PIRG and the New York State Trial Lawyers Association for several years, now runs the Sustainable Markets Foundation and is a Director of the Park Foundation, and Earthworks (funded by Park to support campaigns such Frack Free Denton).

Jay Halfon – NY-PIRG, New York State Trial Lawyers,, Earthworks, Park Foundation

Jay Halfon – NY-PIRG, New York State Trial Lawyers,, Earthworks, Park Foundation

Halfon, in fact, may well deserve the title as America’s top fractivist for being involved everywhere at once behind the scenes choreographing the anti-fracking campaign of his Rockefeller and trial lawyer benefactors, one hoping to keep fracking from impacting the values of properties it wants to control in New York and the other hoping to create business suing gas companies.

It’s one politically corrupt mess and the Sustainable Markets Foundation is the midst of all it, doing the dirty work of the Park and Rockefeller families. The various facades and useful idiots employed in the effort don’t even realize the extent to which they are being used as the hidden hand of elitist wealth manipulates the system. This is the corrupt world of fractivism and its champions.

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15 thoughts on “The Corrupt World of Fractivism and Its Champions

  1. The 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall was the other day , those unemployed Marxists have to do something to try to reverse capitalisms pension for effiency . I love to say to the antis that being Putin’s useful idiots means you have basically been in stepwith killing nearly 300 innoscents on a Malaysia Airlines plane over the Ukraine .

  2. Come on Tom ….your stories get weirder all the time .The reality is it really is grassroots people caring about their environment .No pay just concern .

    • The reality is that it is a web consisting of both paid activists, some people who are legitimately grassroots and then a web of others some posing as grassroots, some posing as experts, some posing as people effected either by drilling or an infrastructure project who are not. However it started and whatever people’s intent, there are in fact people running around pretending to educate others on things they know very little about, there is a lot of deception, scare tactics, total misinformation, there are whole groups and coalitions that are practically completely fraudulent and there is absolutely at its core a desire to build a social movement being encouraged by many people. This involves increasing tactics, civil disobedience, arrests etc and that is not unknown or a secret. Some of them are simply “occupiers”. That is reality.

    • Bill F. Your post made me laugh so hard, I just spit up my oatmeal on my laptop. Your side is so “grassroots”, that’s why the U.S. Senate is looking into all the billionaires like the Schmidt Foundation, the William Penn Foundation, the Park Foundation, Tom Steyer, and a host of others in this report – Here’s a photo of the tip of the tip of the iceberg of those oh so poor “grassroots” activists” – Yoko Dontknow alone is worth $500,000,000 according to a Google search and she comes from a wealthy Japanese banking family. “Grassroots” my arse.

    • What amazes me is that some of those who cry the loudest about chemicals used in HVHF thousands of feet below the surface of the earth are the first ones to run outside to light up a cigarette so they can suck chemicals and carcinogens deep into their lungs. Bill F., are you a smoker like Josh Fox?


    Here are some fun photos from FANG. For some strange reason Craig Stevens attended a draft EIS hearing on the Rockaway Lateral project with his jug and his speech and for some reason he also attended a hearing on an LNG delivery project on Long Island which his movement would like to hock is secretly intended for export.

    Whatever people’s original intent, this is a movement that is out of control and has been for some time. The nuttiest people end up in the news routinely and reporters are unable to distinguish fact from fiction at this point.

  4. UFO experts and very ugly naturists with weird thoughts of interacting with infants . How more nutty can these people get. Sad part is they are actually taken seriously by certain circles that write the cheques

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  6. It slays me every time I drive by 140 Seneca Way on rt. 79 at the bottom of the hill in Ithaca, Park’s new digs, and see those nat gas pipes and what appears to be a round pressure reducer or some other type of nat gas device going in to that building. Adleaide Park Gomer truly is a person with no conscience or sense of remorse in knowing how many farmers and landowners she and her ilk have driven into bankruptcy. Her war on us, however, may be coming to an end. Two days after the election, by coincidence, NY Republican and Senate majority leader Dean Skelos is now a strong and outspoken advocate of fracking and also by coincidence, the DEC issued a draft permit for the LPG storage facility in Reading above Watkins Glen, NY just days AFTER the election. We are seeing Andrew Cuomo at his best (worst?).

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