Greenbrier Marcellus Fracking Conference Open to Reporters - With One Exception
26 Corporate Crime Reporter 12, March 15, 2012

I really wanted to visit the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia next week. It’s so beautiful down there.

And plus, I wanted to cover the Marcellus Shale Conference on April 1-3 for the print legal newsletter I edit – Corporate Crime Reporter.

There’s going to be a bunch of heavy hitters attending.

Including West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, Senator Joe Manchin, leaders of the West Virginia natural gas industry, and regulators.

So, I e-mailed Raelyn L. Blake.

She’s in charge of the media for the conference.

I asked Blake for press credentials to cover the conference.

And I get an e-mail back from Blake.

“I see that you work for the Corporate Crime Reporter so I am just wondering what your interest would be in covering our conference?” Blake asks.

I get back to Raelyn and say – well, we’ve been covering the natural gas industry, hydraulic fracturing, various government regulations.

I remind her of the various federal criminal investigations of the industry.

And even some criminal convictions.

But I’m not breaking through with the e-mails.

So, I call up Blake.

She answers.

And is very polite.

But firm.

She says yes, the conference is open to reporters.

About four or five will be attending – including Platts.

But, no Russell, you can’t cover it.

Why not?

“It’s a pro-industry conference,” Blake says. “And we don’t want to have any negative press about it.”

“I’m not sure your covering it would be a good fit with out conference,” she said.

“We going to have politicians and industry leaders here, and we don’t want them to feel uncomfortable,” Blake said. “Sorry, it’s just not going to be a good fit.”

Wait a second.

You admit reporters based on their reporting?

Platts – in?

Corporate Crime Reporter – out?

Is there anyone I can appeal to?

No, no appeal, Blake says.


But firm.

“It’s just not a good fit.”




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