Josh Fox’s Oscar®-nominated documentary “GasLand” introduced us to scary images of burning water taps, supposedly the result of gas well fracking gone bad. It was such a successful piece of anti-development propaganda that HBO greenlighted a sequel, “GasLand 2″, due out this fall.
A new documentary, “TruthLand“, is an attempt to counter Josh Fox’s distortions. It is the tale of Shelly, a teacher, dairy farmer and mom from Susquehanna County, right in the heart of the Marcellus Shale gas play in northeastern PA. Shelly sets out to find the truth about fracking and gas development, speaking with landowners, environmentalists, engineers, scientists and regulators to learn the impact that fracking might have on her family farm.
Along the way, Shelly finds a “burning faucet” just like in “GasLand”, but unlike Josh Fox she discovers the truth behind it.
This is an important issue. Natural gas provides nearly 25% of the energy that America consumes. No energy source including renewables is without risk, but natural gas is the closest thing to an ideal fuel that we have. It is clean, abundant, cheap and American. If you’re not a fan of natural gas, you’re a fan of mud huts.
We have never had any instance of groundwater contamination from hydraulic fracturing — ever. For any fluid, frac fluid, to migrate up a mile, two miles to the water table is impossible. You are more likely to hit the moon with a Roman candle.
– Elizabeth Ames Jones, Texas Railroad Commission [oil and gas regulatory body] (June 3, 2011)
The “GasLand” movie is misleading. It has a mission. That mission is to shut down the gas industry. It’s very effective at stirring fears. The truth about gas drilling is much more complicated and complex than was presented in “GasLand”.
— John Hanger, Former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
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