Disney withdraws from pro-fracking elementary school tour by Laura Barron-Lopez, January 10, 2014, The Hill
The Ohio and Gas Energy Education Program — which is supported by oil and gas companies — funded the project. Radio Disney planned to take the tour to other states if the Ohio tour proved successful. However, after being dragged into an unlikely controversy, Disney said they were pulling out of the remaining installments of the Ohio tour, according to an email statement sent to Al Jazeera. “The sole intent of the collaboration between Radio Disney and the nonprofit Rocking in Ohio educational initiative was to foster kids’ interest in science and technology. Having been inadvertently drawn into a debate that has no connection with this goal, Radio Disney has decided to withdraw from the few remaining installments of the program,” the statement read. The Ohio and Gas Energy program doesn’t seem to be backing down after facing activists who call the tour “propaganda” collected 75,000 signatures opposing the project. “Our country cannot survive without oil and gas,” OOGEEP’s Ron Grosjean told the Wooster, Ohio, Daily Record. “Kids are the best way (to spread the message). They retain (the information); they remember it.” [Emphasis added]
Radio Disney’s pro-fracking elementary school tour sparks outrage by Peter Moskowitz, January 8, 2014, Aljazeera America
The program, called Rocking in Ohio, went on a 26-stop tour of elementary schools and science centers across the state last month. … It is entirely funded by the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP), which gets its money from oil and gas companies. Radio Disney, a nationwide network of radio stations aimed at kids, has said it will take the tour to other states if it deems the program successful.
In each of the 26 demonstrations, a Radio Disney DJ named Taylor Bell directed teams of kids as they raced to build pipelines out of plastic straws. The first team to get three ping pong balls through the “pipelines” won the game. The kids were cheered on by Radio Disney employees and teachers as pop music played in the background. “Our country cannot survive without oil and gas,” OOGEEP’s Ron Grosjean told the Wooster, Ohio Daily Record. “Kids are the best way (to spread the message). They retain (the information); they remember it.” According to several local media reports, the demonstrations seemed to be a hit. One said kids became “loud, noisy and raucous” in support of their teams.
“I don’t think it’s doing the children or the state of Ohio any good,” said Robert Shields, the Ohio chapter chair for the Sierra Club. “Kids’ ability to reason is not yet quite established, so it feels to me that they’re getting some kind of propaganda.”
OOGEEP pointed out in local media that the word “fracking” is never used during the demonstrations. … But it seems teaming up with a well-known national company like Disney crossed a line for some and created an online firestorm. [Emphasis added]
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