The technique of hydraulic fracturing opened up new natural gas drilling opportunities across the country located in massive shale formations, including the Fayetteville Shale Play in north central Arkansas. As a result, the natural gas industry has become an economic engine for the State of Arkansas and their success has become a target for higher taxes and increased regulation.
During the 88th General Assembly in Arkansas, the natural gas industry faced a $100 million increase in the state’s severance tax and tougher regulations that would have cost many good paying jobs. Also of concern was the misinformation being distributed by environmental activists regarding water and air quality. The industry needed help building opposition to a package of hostile legislation and setting the record straight about the industry’s commitment to safety.
Impact Management was hired by the natural gas industry to assist with educating policy-makers on the impact this hostile legislation would have on Arkansas’s economy and mobilizing grassroots opposition to counter the public relations campaign being waged by environmental groups.
Because of the industry’s commitment to educate legislators and proactively work with them to address valid concerns, all of their legislative goals were achieved. Additionally, their grassroots presence at the state capitol refocused the debate to the most important issues facing the state… protecting jobs and growing the economy.