Debate Over Gasland the Movie Hits Mainstream

from Wildlife Promise

Every day, we check our emails, blackberry and mail to find an overload of information that we don’t need. I’ll make this easy for you—you NEED to hear this (and to make things even easier, click here).

Gasland movie poster. Image courtesy of GaslandTheMovie.com

A debate has begun over Josh Fox’s film, GasLand, the Oscar nominated documentary about hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” is the process by which natural gas and oil is extracted from the ground. Fox’s cross-country documentary records testimonies from families and communities whose drinking water have become contaminated by the “fracking” process and to shine a light on the darkness that has surrounded this industry “secret.”

With GasLand’s nomination, Energy in Depth (EID), a front group for a coalition of trade associations for the oil and gas industry, including the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), has issued a letter to the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences, saying that a litany of errors in the anti-drilling film should render it ineligible for best documentary feature.

“The filmmaker alternates between misstating and outright ignoring basic and verifiable facts related to the impact of these activities on the health and welfare of humans, wildlife and the environment,” said Lee Fuller, executive director for EID.

Still from Gasland the movie: a man lights his tap water on fire. Image courtesy of GaslandTheMovie.com

Last time I checked, people’s tap water lighting on fire greatly impacts the health and welfare of humans, wildlife and environment. Why is this so hard for some to believe?

We need to keep the light shining on this industry offense – send a quick tweet to the Academy of Motion Pictures and Science to support the truth on fracking in Gasland.

Because the truth is: fracking is affecting communities, from the people that live there to the animals that roam. Legislative Representative Bentley Johnson of National Wildlife Federation’s public lands campaigns explains:

“The impacts of drilling for natural gas leaves natural habitat scarred and wildlife populations decimated. Major declines in mule deer, pronghorn antelope and sage grouse have been attributed to the booming natural gas development infrastructure and development that is occurring in previously pristine areas. Hydraulic fracturing uses millions of gallons of water and the high-salinity waste water is often dumped into streams and rivers, putting trout and other species in serious jeopardy.”

Also during the hydraulic fracturing debate, you will hear particular phrases repeated again and again by industry and natural gas advocates. These common company lines often use tricky wording that deliberately mislead and deceive. However, they are legally able to stand by many of these phrases. Here is one example as described in Fox’s response to the letter called, Affirming Gasland (pdf) which de-bunks the industry’s response:

“This claim echoes the common industry line, “There has never been a proven case of water
contamination caused by hydraulic fracturing.” Industry representatives and lobbyists said this over
and over again in the film. It’s a carefully worded sentence that contains two major deceptions:

1) The word “proven” — How can you prove something that has never been investigated? HF [hydraulic fracturing] has never been investigated fully by the EPA. The fact that non-naturally-occurring chemicals specifically associated with HF fluids and drilling muds are showing up in people’s water supplies is the first level of proof; E-I-D [Energy-in-Depth] denies the testimony of the citizens. Very tricky wording, which belies the real truth. Quite deliberately.

2) The words “hydraulic fracturing” — The industry here defines HF here as the moment underground
fractures are split — and not the entire drilling process. The industry could never claim that there has never been a proven instance of water contamination due to the whole process of GAS DRILLING, but when they confine their definition to the single moment of the underground fracturing — a part of the process that has never been investigated — they can legally deny the obvious.”

Well, I can also legally stand by what I believe in and so can YOU by helping to generate lots of tweets to show support for the nomination. Go to the direct link at http://act.ly/31a or “retweet” the following and you’ll automatically sign the petiton: RT @wildlifeaction petition @TheAcademy to Support the truth on #fracking in @Gasland, not industry PR http://act.ly/31a RT to sign.

So if you’ve never seen Gasland, make sure to check out the film that has caused such a stir in Hollywood and across the country, and make sure to share with your friends this bit of information that EVERYONE should know about.