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No “fracking” policy shift here

January 3, 2012 - Rob Weaver
First, an admission: We in the newspaper business find the term “hydraulic fracturing” as unwieldy as anyone. Just try fitting those two words into a two-column headline. But I also have to admit that use of the shorthand term, “fracking,” has been made more sensitive due to the popularity of a similar substitute for a vulgarity in the vernacular. It reminds me of the pseudo-expletives that surely must fly daily at the Hoover Dam: “After the dam tour, can we stop at the dam gift shop to look for some dam souvenirs?” I thought of this because the news wire Tuesday brought a story with the header, “Ohio quakes could incite fracking policy shift.” That, in turn, forced me to consider The A-T policy regarding use of the word “fracking” in headlines with stories about fracking. While we will strive to avoid a constructions that lend itself to a double entendre, we will continue to use the term when appropriate. Something else caught my attention yesterday while reading the, um, earthquake story: Gov. John Kasich has said blaming the energy industry for issues arising from disposal of its byproducts would be like blaming the auto industry for improper disposal of old tires. That’s not a good analogy to use in this area of the state.


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