Greenwash of the Month: The Kid-Friendly (Fracking Dinosaur) “Fracosaurus”?

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Hey, kids!  It’s Talisman Terry, your “friendly Fracosaurus”!  Terry the Fracosaurus teaches kids about “a clean energy source called Natural Gas,” found right in your hometown!

Wait, what?!

If the “frac” in that cartoon dinosaur’s name sounds scarily close to the natural gas drilling process called “fracking,” then you’re right—that’s exactly where it came from.  A Canadian global oil and gas company, called Talisman Energy, recently released a 24-page coloring book for children explaining the “virtues” of natural gas extraction.

This, from a company tied to human rights and environmental abuses in Sudan and the Amazon, not to mention a recent fine for a large diesel spill in Pennsylvania.

This coloring book isn’t just part of a far-reaching public education campaign aimed at brainwashing the younger generations into thinking that fracking is some sort of safe, clean energy of the future.  It’s specifically aimed at children in Twin Tiers, a cluster of counties on the New York/Pennsylvania border where Talisman Energy has developed more than 100 wells over the past 10 years, polluting the surrounding communities’ water.

Currently, there is an ongoing battle in the area over the distribution of permits to drill between gas companies and regulators.

Fracking injects chemical-laced water deep underground to crack open shale rock so the gas can escape.  Drillers must then dispose of waste water that flows back up the wells, with the potential for severe environmental health hazards.  When CBS’s “60 Minutes” ran a long segment about the controversial procedure, viewers across the country saw the now-famous clip of flames shooting out of a kitchen faucet, caused by fracking waste water disposal.

Not only does Terry the Fracosaurus tell kids that natural gas is a clean way to heat our homes, cook our meals, heat our water, and power our cars and buses—he also defines natural gas as a “clean-burning fossil fuel that is one of the cleanest, safest, and most useful of all energy sources.”

Wow, that’s a whole other level of greenwashing—it’s greenwashing aimed at kids!  That’s like having Joe the Camel front for cigarette companies so kids will be drawn to the clean, safe, and most useful of all ways to smoke tobacco.

Talisman Energy has now stopped production of the coloring book because of all the negative media attention it received, but it will live on forever in ridiculous, corporate greenwashing legend.

CEH is actively investigating the health impacts of fracking, as well as other sectors of the energy industry. So please check back to our website and Generation Green for more updates soon.

And for the hilarious continuation of Talisman Terry’s continued coloring book life  imagined by Stephen Colbert, check out the Colbert segment on Talisman Terry:

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Ali manages the website and coordinates the online communications of CEH. She works with the communications and development staff to create messaging strategies and public education content for CEH’s supporters and online audience. A Bay Area native, Ali attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where she received a B.A. in Sociology and Cultural Studies. This allowed her to live abroad in Argentina, where she studied Latin American history and learned valuable Spanish language skills. Ali is thrilled to be part of an organization that advocates for healthy communities so effectively.