Peer Reviewer Sandra Steingraber: An Embarrassment

fracking - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.




Sandra Steingraber moves from radical to ridiculous, insulting women employed in the oil & gas industry by calling them hotel maids and prostitutes.

Yesterday, I wrote a post about the anecdotes and imagery used by Sandra Steingraber as a poor substitute for science, charts and graphs. It turns out that was just the beginning, as our friend and former associate Joe Massaro caught Steingraber moving well beyond the typical radical nonsense she utters into the ridiculous, accusing women who work for the oil and gas industry of being no more than hotel maids and prostitutes. This is the peer reviewer Andrew Cuomo’s health department chose to review its report, which tells us everything – yes, everything – about the rotten to the core corruption that pervaded Cuomo’s decision.

Here’s the video clip (sound only available – click to listen):

Sandra Steingraber

Sandra Steingraber insults women of the oil and gas industry, calling them “hotel maids and prostitutes.”

The Washington Times had a story on what happened and here are the key paragraphs:

In an April 6 lecture at the University of Pittsburgh, biologist Sandra Steingraber of New Yorkers Against Fracking described the fight over oil and natural gas development as a feminist issue.

“Fracking as an industry serves men. Ninety-five percent of the people employed in the gas fields are men. When we talk about jobs, we’re talking about jobs for men, and we need to say that,” said Ms. Steingraber in a video posted on YouTube by the industry-backed group Energy in Depth.

“The jobs for women are ‘hotel maid’ and ‘prostitute,’” she says. “So when fracking comes into a community, what we see is that women take a big hit, especially single women who have children who depend on rental housing.”

Supporters of the industry swung back by citing a 2014 report from the American Petroleum Institute, which found that women filled 226,000 oil, gas and petrochemical industry jobs, or 19 percent.

Now, one of the things that’s interesting about this talk given by Steingraber is that it is obviously the same one she gave at Wells College and yet the reporter for that event (Greg Mason) never reported the outrageous “maids and prostitutes” claim. Did she leave it out in that instance, or did Mason know it didn’t look good for his subject and so chose not to tell us? We can’t know for sure, but it’s easy to see how empathetic media types (supposed “journalists”) can distort a story simply by leaving material out.

Regardless, Sandra Steingraber obviously intended to insult women who work in the oil and gas industry, which should be disturbing to anyone who cares about this individual’s credibility. She not only had her facts wrong (she prefers poetry, anecdotes, imagery and careful ponderous intoning of her voice to convey a faux seriousness) but couldn’t help but resort to the diminishing of any non-academic type who chooses to work in the real world. This is the type of biased condescending pseudo-intellectual Cuomo chose to give the imprimatur to his health report.

One wonders what these women might think of Sandra Steingraber’s comments:

Sandra Steingraber insults sue_alberti

Senior V-P, Marketing –Devon Energy Corporation

Sandra Steingraber insults Beebe_27.jpg

Lydia I. Beebe, Corporate Secretary & Chief Governance Officer – Chevron Corporation

Sandra Steingraber insults kimberly_allen_dang

Kimberly Allen Dang, V-P & Chief Financial Officer Kinder Morgan

Also, just for the record, the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics states there were 104,000 women employed in oil and gas extraction alone, some 17.9% of the total, and that’s without counting pipeline activity or all the ancillary industries involved (including hotel workers by the way, which happen to be honorable jobs, notwithstanding Sandra Steingraber’s denigrating remarks).

Finally, let’s dispense with this reckless prostitution rumor-mongering. Crime statistics simply don’t back up the irresponsible speculation about crime increases, as we noted in an earlier post. Moreover, the Center for Rural Pennsylvania found the crime rates for minor offenses (which includes prostitution by classification) in core Marcellus Shale counties with low activity declined from 25.0 incidents per 1,000 persons in 2001-2007 to  21.7 in 2008-10. The rate in high-activity areas went from a rate of 24.2 down to 20.9.

There was exactly one case of prostitution reported by the Pennsylvania State Police in Bradford County for 2014. That’s an incident rate of 0.016 per 1,000 residents, compared to a rate of 15.9 incidents per 1,000 for Pennsylvania as a whole (2013). For those of you from the Ithaca area who deal in anecdotes and imagery, rather than numbers, that means there was 994 times as much prostitution per 1,000 Pennsylvania residents as there was for every 1,000 Bradford County residents. There’s no prostitution problem in Bradford County. There is one in Ithaca, though, as recent news stories have documented. But, don’t hold your breath waiting for Sandra Steinbgraber to focus on it. She’s doing anti-shale anecdotes and imagery and too busy to focus on real problems affecting women.

Was Sandra Steingraber qualified to be a peer reviewer of NY's health report?

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30 thoughts on “Peer Reviewer Sandra Steingraber: An Embarrassment

  1. I have no doubt that the professional women in the industry have wage parody with their male counterparts unlike many sectors of government

    • I’m sure you meant wage parity. Please note that the highest paying jobs in the engineering field are for petroleum engineers. Women, aim high!

    • It is not energy that people voice their opinion on. It’s the specific process of HVHF that comes with O& G extraction .It is not or ever be a “Safe ” process due to it being a heavy industrial one done only a few hundred feet from homes and dwelling’s .% yrs + of experience with it has shown me that it is far from what is presented by NG industries.Not all people are affected ( but all experience the related nuisances ) and of course NOT all (only a select few ) make out .

      • Bill: Somehow I doubt you have any real experience with sand fracs or hydraulic fracing. You make a sweeping comment “it is not or ever be a Safe process due to ..” which is patently absurd. After 65 years of using this completion technique, I have never heard of any groundwater contamination nor “accident” attributed to the service company performing the completions or workovers. In my 45 years in this business I have also never heard of anyone getting hurt during a frac job, but I am sure there have been accidents before. If what “people” as you say just focused on the “process” then there would essentially be no controversy, unless you are either stone cold stupid, or simply hate the petroleum industry.

        • First of all “You are full of it ! “…second after living with it all around me for over 5 yrs.( and having a engineering background ) I feel (and have documented plenty of issues ( nuisances related to your operations ) ….any thing beyond is just PR as far as I’m concerned .Not all are affected but plenty have been and many more experiences all the other nuisances that comes with it and get absolutely nothing out of it .As far as 65 yrs you are wrong .HVHF started in the Barnett around 1998 .This is the operation I have a problem with .

          • Glad you have “a” engineering background and not “a” English education background.

      • Bill this article is about some nutcase claiming that the only jobs for women, in the industry, is prostitutes and maids. It is not about all the BS you keep repeating on here on every article. Do you agree with her ??

  2. Tom….. tell me all about the science you believe to be true ! All you know is what you are told .When you live with the operations close by,you learn that all the industry PR is just more corporate BS .SAME as IT EVERY IS ! ….Science doesn’t account for human error ,accidents,and all other obvious nuisances connected to NG drilling using HVHF .

    • Actually Bill, Science can, does, and will account for human error, accidents, and nuisances (yourself excluded) in NG development and all other human endeavors. It is a well developed and widely employed field of study and practice called risk analysis and mitigation. It incorporates reliability engineering, materials science, computer modelling and many other technical fields that allow such endeavors as aviation, space exploration, shipping, rail travel, businesses, medicine, civil infrastructure, power, etc. etc. to proceed with effective and reasonable means to eliminate risks and adverse consequences. And if/when incidents do occur it involves learning from the incident to devise and implement preventative measures for safer future practices.

      Sometimes the only way to understand what can go wrong in a process and how to prevent it is to actually do it with careful monitoring. This points out the fallacy of implementing bans and moratoria until a process is proven 100% safe. By your own words there is no such state. But we can get to where we are safe enough that the risks and consequences of the possible incidents are outweighed by the benefits. In all but one state (NY) we have acknowledged and proven since the 40’s that HF and HVHF are safe and responsible means to produce clean reliable energy we need in the quantities we need it.

      And Bill, its time you gave up on trying to demonize HVHF just because it is HV and you think it is somehow different than HF. The HV actually makes it safe and more responsible means for society to develop it’s energy reserves. The technical distinction between HVHF and HF from a risk mitigation standpoint shows HVHF is no different than HF. Your assertions to the opposite are just more fearmingering lies.

      If you had any technical aptitude other than your imagined expertise you would know such. You are factually bankrupt Bill!

    • Well put! Thank you! Didn’t notice until you pointed it out – the foibles of relying upon spell checkers that don’t always work for titles in WordPress. Should have caught it myself, though.

      • Bill, can you please make a rationale point for a change and supply something other than your increasingly shrill and baseless assertions? Get a grip!

        • So Vic’s words were a rational statement ? Just want him to see knocking a persons character isn’t the way to go …..Also I always have a “Grip ” .always do !

          • Actually Vic’s words are a rational, albeit sarcastic/ironic means of showing Steingrubber is not the high and mighty elitist she thinks she is for having performed an act that many feel is morally indefensible. Vic’s point is that she is no better or worse than those she denigrates and can be denigrated herself.

            So what was the point of your response to Vic’s comment except to offer unsubstantiated contradiction, something you are very practiced at both on comments here and with NG development in general.

          • I’m not angry I’m am convinced !Also have plenty of testing results acquired over 5 yrs.Can’t dispute certified testing .Then there is plain nuisances related .Which will be enforced since this is the only way to achieve any results.People like you will learn eventually .

          • So Bill, you’re convinced. But being convinced by your own opnions doens’t make them fact or make you right,

            So you have plenty of test results over 5 years. How is it that DEP and EPA don’t have such incriminating evidence? Seems like aain you have something that only you think is meaningful and everyone else realizes is meaningless.

            Can’t ignore certified test results? Cuomo did when he ignored the science and facts and unbiased studies to make his politically based decision.

            As for nuisances, we all have to put up with the impacts of our society we have inherited, and furthered with the basic overall consent of societies members. We all have to make concessions compared to what we might need to do if some of the options that our soicety has not pursued had been (e.g. maintiaining a non-industrial agrarian society). As well we have certain benefits as a result of our societal decisions compared to those same options.

            As for who will learn, yes, we the supportive positive people will learn, and progress. And naysaying negative people like you will never learn. So be it. For the sake of your sanity step aside to get out of the way of what will become Bill. And take your meds like your doctor prescribed. I think you’ve been slacking off lately judging from your writings/rantings.

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