Taking a lesson from coal, the natural gas industry, under increasing scrutiny for its boom of unregulated fracking across the United States, is now bringing its own propaganda to children. Talisman Energy, a Canadian driller with extensive operations in Pennsylvania, has developed the coloring book “Talisman Terry’s Energy Adventure,” starring the “friendly fracosaurus,” a smiling dinosaur wearing drilling garb named Talisman Terry. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette explains that the coloring book is part of the company’s outreach strategy to Pennsylvania locals:
The coloring book’s overt message — drilling is smart, safe and American — is delivered in kid-friendly fashion, glossing over the environmental and economic controversies that have surrounded drillers tapping the Marcellus Shale rock formation for lucrative pockets of gas. […] Talisman Terry was developed at Talisman Energy’s Calgary headquarters and has been distributed at community picnics in northeastern Pennsylvania counties. It’s available free as a PDF on the company’s website.
The content of “Talisman Terry” is beyond parody, with smiling rocks, flowers, balloons, fish, and puppies, as well as American flags, the Statue of Liberty, and bald eagles. According to the coloring book’s before-and-after pages, the impacts of natural gas drilling evidently include the creation of rainbows:
“If you’re talking age 9 or younger, you can’t get into the questions like, ‘What is in fracking fluid?’” Natalie Cox, Talisman’s head of U.S. communications, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In fact, Talisman doesn’t have to tell anyone, even adults, what is in fracking fluid. Pennsylvania’s disclosure laws are riddled with loopholes, and federal regulation is prevented by the “Cheney loophole.”