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beansbwIn December, an educational program funded by Ohio’s oil and gas industry and sponsored by Radio Disney went on a 26-stop tour of schools, science centers and fairs across the state promoting oil and gas drilling. 

Complete with coloring books and a pipeline-building contest, the “Rocking in Ohio” program has environmental activists—as well as parents—upset over the pro-fracking agenda being advertised to children. The tour was funded entirely by the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP), which gets its funding from the oil and gas industry. 

According to Climate Parents:

Under the guise of teaching our kids about “science,” Radio Disney is promoting oil and gas extraction and pipelines through a music-filled roadshow being delivered at schools and fairs across Ohio. 

A family-focused brand like Radio Disney has no business peddling dirty energy propaganda to school kids. Energy from oil and gas is polluting our air and water, giving our kids asthma and fueling dangerous climate impacts; like droughts and superstorms. If Radio Disney is going to engage kids around energy, it should be promoting renewable energy that is “kid safe and climate safe,” not fossil fuel energy that puts them in harm’s way.

Below, a video of OOGEEP/Radio Disney giving a modified presentation on natural gas to kids at the Ohio State Fair:

Shortly after publishing this post OOGEEP made the above video private. It shows children jumping and shouting for prizes while “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen plays. 

The Center for Health, Environment and Justice sent a letter to Radio Disney asking them to end its partnership with the oil and gas industry and stop the program. The letter was signed by 23 Ohio-based organizations and called the program an “attempt to fool and brain wash Ohio children and families.”

Yesterday, Radio Disney announced it would cancel the program, following a CREDO Action petition organized by Climate Parents that solicited more than 80,000 signatures and a #DisneyFracked Twitter campaign from the Sierra Club.

An issued statement from Disney read:

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.

Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.

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