They say there's no louder an apostle than a sinner converted. And no more devastating a critic than an insider who has seen behind the gilded curtain. So the words of Louis Allstadt, ex-VP of Mobil Oil, must be echoing fearfully around the fracking industry.
"Making fracking safe is simply not possible, not with the current
technology, or with the inadequate regulations being proposed," he told a group of elected officials in New York State this week.
With 30-plus years working at Mobil Oil, before its merger with Exxon (he headed its oil and gas drilling division in the Americas), this is not a man easily dismissed a part of the 'anti-everything brigade'. Initially in favour of drilling for shale gas - and the promise of energy plenty its proponents like to make - he turned against it after digging deeper.