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Environmentalists target Radio Disney in anti-drilling campaign

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Michael Bastasch Contributor
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Environmentalists have begun a war on Mickey Mouse. The liberal group CREDO started an online petition to tell Radio Disney to stop its “Rocking in Ohio” roadshow because of its positive message on oil and gas drilling.

The CREDO Mobilize petition orders Radio Disney to halt its pro-drilling roadshow, done in partnership with the Ohio Oil and Gas Association as part of the group’s education outreach effort.

“Immediately halt your road show promoting oil and gas extraction and pipelines to kids, and sever your partnership with the Ohio Oil and Gas Association,” reads the petition. “Radio Disney should not — under the guise of teaching kids ‘science’ — promote dirty energy that that gives kids asthma, pollutes our air and water, and fuels climate change.”

The Association says the show “highlights the importance of Ohio’s oil and gas industry, and why science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are crucial in developing energy resources in Ohio.”

The Huffington Post reported last month that the show was hosted by staffers from Cleveland’s Radio Disney affiliate WWMK and that the hour-long event “challenges kids, families and dads to head-to-head games that explain the science behind resource extraction and tout the benefits of products made from fossil fuels. Children run, dance and answer questions, and are given prizes from Disney movies and the Radio Disney brand.”

“We want kids to get excited about science,” said the educational program’s executive director Rhonda Reda. “It allows science to be fun. Who better to help than Radio Disney?”

Sounds pretty horrible, right? This educational partnership to promote the sciences and math was outrageous enough for one Lisa Hoyos to start a CREDO position to condemn the roadshow. Hoyos bills herself as simply the mother of two children concerned for her children, but she is also a life-long environmental activist.

Hoyos co-founded the environmental group Climate Parents and “has been a campaigner in the labor and environmental movements for over twenty years, most recently serving as the CA Director of the BlueGreen Alliance, a national organization committed to scaling up the clean energy economy and growing quality jobs.”

“A family brand like Disney should not be peddling fossil fuels to kids at a time when the childhood asthma rate is soaring, and climate impacts–from super storms to droughts–are harming communities across the country,” Hoyos writes in her CREDO petition, which currently has 3,356 signatures.

“If Disney is going to engage its listeners and viewers about energy, it should be championing energy that is ‘kid safe and climate safe’–not carbon polluting fossil fuels that put children at risk,” Hoyos continues.

Ohio has been one of the states at the center of the U.S. oil and gas boom brought about by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Environmentalists have been campaigning against the drilling technique across the country, contending it contaminates drinking water supplies.

However, fracking has not been linked to water contamination. The Environmental Protection Agency has failed to link fracking to drinking water contamination three times and the Energy Department said that fracking is safe when done properly.

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