We are excited to announce that AXS TV will show FrackNation the night after Gasland 2 premieres on HBO!
Or will the true stories in FrackNation carry the day?
Help us spread the truth by sharing this news with your friends and family!
FrackNation will air at 8 and 11 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, July 9. Gasland 2 premieres on HBO Monday, July 8.
Thanks for helping to spread the truth!
Phelim, Ann & Magdalena
Yesterday we learned that Gasland Part 2, the sequel to Josh Fox’s thoroughly debunked anti-fracking film, will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City in April.
No doubt this sequel will fuel interest in the anti-fracking movement. We need your help to show the public and the media that there is an alternative to Fox’s misinformation.
Call To Action!
Please help by spreading the word about FrackNation as far and wide as possible.
- Share FrackNation’s Facebook page with your friends and family.
- Tweet at journalists with our Twitter handle: @FrackNation.
- Tell people they can purchase a DVD on the FrackNation website.
The more people are involved with FrackNation, the louder we can speak the truth.
In FrackNation journalist Phelim McAleer faces threats, cops and bogus lawsuits questioning green extremists for the truth about fracking. McAleer uncovers fracking facts suppressed by environmental activists, and he talks with rural Americans whose livelihoods are at risk if fracking is banned. Emotions run high but the truth runs deep.
FrackNation was made after Phelim McAleer confronted GASLAND filmmaker Josh Fox at a Q&A in Chicago. McAleer asked Fox about instances of water being lit on fire well before fracking occurred in America and why he didn’t include that information in GASLAND. Fox said the information “wasn’t relevant.” McAleer disagreed and put their exchange on YouTube. Fox sued to have it removed. That’s when McAleer realized there was more to the story of fracking than Josh Fox was letting on.
FrackNation was funded by 3,305 backers on Kickstarter who generously donated $212,265 to have us investigate the truth about fracking. All funds from oil and gas companies or their executives were explicitly rejected. FrackNation is a film by the people, for the people.
California’s Massive Oil Discovery Could Make State Rich
The discovery of a 1,750 square mile shale oil reserve in California could make the state the #1 oil producer in the nation. But radical environmentalists are fighting to stop the use of fracking to extract the oil, even though there has not been a single EPA violation from the process of fracking.
AFP California Common Sense Commentary: The discovery of a 1,750 square mile shale oil reserve in California could make the state the #1 oil producer in the nation. But radical environmentalists are fighting to stop the use of fracking to extract the oil, even though there has not been a single EPA violation from the process of fracking.
In North Dakota, people have jobs. That state led the nation in job creation last year, and its unemployment rate is only 3.2 percent (compared to the national rate of 7.9 percent). Why?
One word: energy.
As Nicolas Loris, Heritage’s Herbert and Joyce Morgan Fellow, writes in a forthcoming paper:
Technological advancements in directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing have led to an abundance of natural gas production in the United States that is fundamentally changing the energy landscape. The result has been more jobs, economic growth, and consistently low domestic natural gas prices in what has known to be a historically volatile market.
Despite media misinformation and Hollywood portrayals like Promised Land, the fact remains that hydraulic fracturing, also called fracking, is being done responsibly and is revitalizing local economies like Williston, North Dakota.
Loris notes that the United States has more than a century’s worth of natural gas beneath its soil at current consumption rates. With more than 12 million Americans out of work, you would think that an economic boom like this would be welcomed—but once again, the federal government is standing in the way.
To export natural gas, companies have to gain approval from two federal agencies and their state. Thus far, the Department of Energy (DOE) has granted only one permit out of 17 applications to countries with which the U.S. does not have a free trade agreement. Loris says this should stop:
The DOE’s role in permit authorization is completely unnecessary and U.S. producers should be allowed to export [liquefied natural gas] to any country they see fit…Natural gas should be treated as any other good traded around the world…It should not be up to the Department of Energy or any federal agency to determine what amount of natural gas to export is in the public’s interest.
Tomorrow, the Senate will begin to consider the future of natural gas as the Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing on environmental factors, imports and exports, and the economy.
Unleashing natural gas production in the U.S. is important for domestic energy—it provides about 30 percent of America’s electricity and is used for heating and cooling homes, stoves, furnaces, and water heaters. More cars, buses, and trucks are running on natural gas as well. But it is also a plentiful resource that we can export. As Loris explains:
Providing other countries with cheaper energy would not only lower the prices of products that the U.S. imports (because businesses could make the products more cheaply), it would also promote economic development in those countries so that they import more American goods. The marginal price increases of natural gas in the U.S. as a result of exports would incentivize even more domestic production.
The Department of Energy released a study that concluded that the gains from exporting natural gas are overwhelmingly positive for the U.S. economy. The study also found that exporting natural gas would increase American export revenue from $10 billion to $30 billion annually. Our economy could certainly use that boost.
But federal meddling threatens to derail this valuable resource development—for no good reason. The states have been incredibly successful in promoting fracking safely and protecting the environment. Loris highlights their records:
In Pennsylvania, fracking has been taking place since the 1960s, with nearly 100,000 oil and gas wells fracked and no instances of contamination of groundwater. The same clean record is true for Ohio, where over 70,000 oil and gaswells have been fracked since the 1960s. The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission has compiled statistics for all 50 states, each of which has a flawless record when it comes to fracking and groundwater protection.
With such successes, the federal government does not need to pile on the red tape. States are effectively tapping their resources and taking care of their people and their lands. Lifting restrictions on natural gas exports would provide even more of an economic boon from America’s energy revolution. With its unnecessary permitting holdups, the Department of Energy is simply preventing more towns from booming and the country from benefiting.
To learn more about fracking, check out the film FrackNation.
A new film starring Matt Damon presents American oil and natural gas producers as money-grubbing villains purportedly poisoning rural American towns. It is therefore of particular note that it is financed in part by the royal family of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates.
The creators of Promised Land have gone to absurd lengths to vilify oil and gas companies, as Scribe’s Michael Sandoval noted Wednesday. Since recent events have demonstrated the relative environmental soundness of hydraulic fracturing – a technique for extracting oil and gas from shale formations – Promised Land’s script has been altered to make doom-saying environmentalists the tools of oil companies attempting to discredit legitimate “fracking” concerns.
While left-leaning Hollywood often targets supposed environmental evildoers, Promised Land was also produced “in association with” Image Media Abu Dhabi, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Media, according to the preview’s list of credits. A spokesperson with DDA Public Relations, which is running PR for the film, confirmed that AD Media is a financier. The company is wholly owned by the government of the UAE.
The UAE, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has a stake in the future of the American fossil fuel industry. Hydraulic fracturing has increased the United States’ domestic supply of crude oil and natural gas in areas such as the Bakken shale formation and has the potential to increase domestic production much more in the foreseeable future. That means more oil on the market, and hence lower prices for a globally traded commodity.
Fracking is boosting the country’s natural gas supply as well. While the market for American natural gas is primarily domestic, the Energy Department recently approved Cheniere Energy’s plan to export about 2.2 billion cubic feet of liquefied natural gas per day from Louisiana. The Department is considering LNG export applications from seven other companies.
A strong global market presence for American natural gas could also work to the UAE’s disadvantage. The Arab nation ranks seventh worldwide in proven natural gas reserves. For instance, Japan’s energy imports are expected to rise significantly over the next five years. The country is currently a major importer of UAE natural gas. If it decided to import more LNG from the United States to accommodate its increased energy demands, it could deal a blow to the UAE economy.
Another source of competition might come from other industries that use natural gas to manufacture other products. As American gas grows cheaper the United States becomes a more attractive destination for industries that manufacture petroleum-intensive products. The UAE, meanwhile, has invested billions attempting to shore up its own share of the plastics and chemicals markets, both of which rely on petroleum products and are likely to gravitate towards the cheapest sources of those products.
All of this suggests a direct financial interest on the UAE’s part in slowing the development of America’s natural gas industry. Pop culture can be a powerful means to sway public opinion. While Promised Land, like anti-fracking documentary Gasland, appears to inflate the dangers of hydraulic fracturing, it may have an impact on the public’s view of the practice.
Heritage’s James Dean contributed to this report.
Note: AD Media’s role in financing Promised Land was confirmed by a spokesperson with DDA Public Affairs, not a representative from AD Media itself. This post has been corrected to reflect that fact.
With all the gloomy economic news coming out of late, one bright spot flew under the radar last week: the United States is poised to be the proverbial center of the energy universe.
A recent study by Harvard Research Fellow Leonardo Maugeri found that the United States’ incredible shale reserves represent “the most important revolution in the oil sector in decades.”
Thanks to the technological revolution brought about by the combined use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, the U.S. is now exploiting its huge and virtually untouched shale and tight oil fields, whose production – although still in its infancy – is already skyrocketing in North Dakota and Texas.
Few Americans are more cognizant of this energy revolution’s possibilities than those who live in the towns sitting above the nation’s largest shale formations. The Heritage Foundation traveled to Willison, North Dakota, above the massive Bakken shale, to hear first-hand how the oil boom there has improved residents’ lives.
But there are forces looking to undermine North Dakota’s oil boom. “The area that we worry the most about would be the federal government and regulations,” explained Willison Mayor Ward Koeser, “specifically the Environmental Protection Agency.”
Koeser’s concerns are not without merit. The EPA has a history of wrongfully targeting companies using hydraulic fracturing for supposed environmental contamination. When a top EPA official, Region 6 administrator Al Armedariz, compared his enforcement philosophy to Roman crucifixions, the agency’s history of enforcement actions against oil and gas drillers – both use hydraulic fracturing to extract resources from shale – belied Armendariz’s subsequent apology and walk-back.
Armendariz just took a job at the Sierra Club, a radical environmentalist group that has undertaken a massive campaign against the extraction of natural gas from shale only a few years after it championed natural gas as a cleaner alternative to coal and oil.
The left’s emerging hostility to “fracking” has the potential to derail the amazing economic opportunity that shale presents. So it should come as little surprise that the political consequences of that hostility are bearing themselves out in places like Western Pennsylvania, which sits on huge shale gas reserves.
Roll Call’s Stuart Rothenberg reported over the weekend that Pennsylvania, which over the past 20 years has moved further left in terms of its voting patterns, is suddenly more competitive. “Western Pennsylvania increasingly looks like West Virginia or southeastern Ohio,” Rothenberg notes.
Rothenberg, appropriately concerned with the political analysis, did not connect the dots: Western Pennsylvania, Southeastern Ohio, and West Virginia are all major energy-producing states (or parts of states). The Utica, Marcellus, and Devonian shale formations, for instance, represent major economic opportunities in those states.
From the federal perspective, then, a sensible energy policy would at least refrain from proactively discouraging those opportunities, as Heritage’s Nick Loris has suggested:
An aggressive energy policy that opens access, provides a timely permitting process as well as environmental and judicial review, and places a freeze on new environmental regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would go a long way to help lower energy prices, create jobs, and bring revenue into the financially strapped government that’s racked up [over] $15 trillion in debt.
But left-wing environmentalists continue to fight against the country’s natural gas and oil boom. That boom has the potential not just to revitalize parts of the American economy, but to infuse economic vitality into some of the nation’s most economically distressed communities. Don’t be surprised when those communities stand up to regulatory overreach and environmental hysteria.
IER STATEMENT ON NEW EPA REGULATIONS ON HYDRAULIC FRACTURING
“This rule is the result of a well-worn path whereby environmentalist ideologues sue the federal government to restrict fossil fuel development, while politicized regulators jump gleefully at the chance to aggrandize the power of their agencies.”
– IER President Thomas Pyle
WASHINGTON D.C. — Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency released the Obama administration’s final rule for hydraulically fractured well operations, the result of a lawsuit filed by environmentalist groups against the federal government during the first year of the Obama presidency. IER President Thomas Pyle issued the following statement after the EPA rule was announced:
“Once again, the Obama administration is using the Environmental Protection Agency to execute its war on affordable energy. Today’s announced rule will increase the regulatory burden on natural gas producers that use proven, safe hydraulic fracturing technologies to provide low-cost energy to American consumers. The EPA claim that its final rule is based, in part, on reported cost savings to industry is disingenuous and fraudulent, especially given the administration’s repeated efforts to impose punitive, discriminatory taxes on oil and gas producers.
“In the end, this rule is a result of the well-worn path whereby environmentalist ideologues sue the federal government to restrict fossil fuel development, while politicized regulators jump gleefully at the chance to aggrandize the power of their agencies. President Obama has been busy touting his support for more hydraulic fracturing and taking credit for natural gas production increases on private and state lands that have driven down the price to record lows. Meanwhile, he has been actively working through regulation to disrupt safe fossil fuel production and restrict access to American energy.”
We received this email from Ann, Phelim & Magda yesterday:
We wanted our supporters to be the first to get our very own Hollywood exclusive.
PROMISED LAND will be directed by Gus Van Sant and co-star John Krasinski, who plays Jim in NBC’s The Office. This will be a huge movie – with a big budget and a lot of promotion and advertising and sources tell us it will be portraying fracking in a very negative light.
As you probably know, Matt Damon is just the latest Hollywood superstar to come out against fracking. Robert Redford, Debra Winger and Mark Ruffallo have also campaigned against the process.
We want to make FrackNation because we want the truth about fracking to be told. But it will not be easy getting the message out with a sequel to Gasland in the works and now a big budget Hollywood movie concentrating on scare stories rather than true stories. Now, we recognize Hollywood movies don’t have to be truthful – they just have to be entertaining, but it’s likely that PROMISED LAND will increase unfounded concerns about fracking.
That’s why we need your help. We have less than two days left in our Kickstarter campaign. We have been overwhelmed by the response so far. Almost 3,000 people have donated over $190,000. But if we are to take on the Hollywood/Environmental establishment we need you to increase your donation or send this link to friends who might want to help.
Thank You very much
Ann, Phelim & Magda
p.s And please:
Take part in the conversation that is never dull on Twitter.
Yesterday the EPA released a “Draft” of it’s findings in regard to the groundwater in Pavillion, Wyoming once again the EPA seems to have misrepresented the truth and is playing fast & Lose with the facts in their jihad against natural gas.
From the press release:
EPA constructed two deep monitoring wells to sample water in the aquifer. The draft report indicates that ground water in the aquifer contains compounds likely associated with gas production practices, including hydraulic fracturing. EPA also re-tested private and public drinking water wells in the community. The samples were consistent with chemicals identified in earlier EPA results released in 2010 and are generally below established health and safety standards. To ensure a transparent and rigorous analysis, EPA is releasing these findings for public comment and will submit them to an independent scientific review panel. The draft findings announced today are specific to Pavillion, where the fracturing is taking place in and below the drinking water aquifer and in close proximity to drinking water wells – production conditions different from those in many other areas of the country.
What’s odd is EPA administrator Lisa Jackson’s on-air admission that “we have absolutely no indication now that drinking water is at risk” after reviewing all the information from that region less than a month ago!!!
Energy In Depth or EID released the following 6 questions in response to the EPA’s “Draft” (which you can find below).
Draft report from EPA in Denver produces lots more questions than answers; EID poses a few of its own
Call it a sign of the “Times,” let’s say, that less than 24 hours removed from the release of EPA Region 8’s report on groundwater sampling near Pavillion, Wyo., nearly a thousand different news stories have been generated — in 12 different countries, and best we can tell, four different languages. But set aside the breathless headlines for a moment and the triumphant quotes from a small segment of folks committed to ending the responsible development of natural gas, and one’s left with a pretty straightforward question: Is EPA right? And if so, what exactly does that mean moving forward?
Of course, before you can answer the second question, it’d be helpful if you had a good answer for the first. And the truth is, as we sit here today, less than 20 hours A.P. (After Pavillion), we simply don’t. What we do know, however, even at these early stages, is that several of the assertions put forth in EPA’s report yesterday don’t quite square with the facts as they actually exist on the ground out there. Because of that, a number of folks are starting to ask some pretty basic questions about what the agency found and how it went about finding it. Below, a few of the most obvious:
1) Why the huge difference between what EPA found in its monitoring wells and what was detected in private wells from which people actually get their water?
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- Contrary to what was reported yesterday, the compounds of greatest concern detected by EPA in Pavillion weren’t found in water wells that actually supply residents their water – they were detected by two “monitoring wells” drilled by EPA outside of town.
- After several rounds of EPA testing of domestic drinking water wells in town, only one organic compound (bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate) was found to exceed state or federal drinking water standards – an additive in plastics and one of the most commonly detected organic compounds in water. According to EPA: “Detections in drinking water wells are generally below established health and safety standards.”
- Bruce Hinchey, president of Petroleum Association of Wyoming: “Let me be clear, the EPA’s findings indicate that there is no connection between oil and natural gas operations and impacts to domestic water wells.” (PAW press release, Dec. 8, 2011)
- In contrast, EPA found “a wide variety of organic chemicals” in its two monitoring wells, with greater concentrations found in the deeper of the two. The only problem? EPA drilled its monitoring wells into a hydrocarbon-bearing formation. Think it’s possible that could explain the presence of hydrocarbons?
- According to governor of Wyoming: “The study released today from EPA was based on data from two test wells drilled in 2010 and tested once that year and once in April, 2011. Those test wells are deeper than drinking wells. The data from the test wells was not available to the rest of the working group until a month ago.” (Gov. Mead press release, issued Dec. 8, 2011)
2) After reviewing the data collected by Region 8, why did EPA administrator Lisa Jackson tell a reporter that, specific to Pavillion, “we have absolutely no indication now that drinking water is at risk”? (video available here)
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- Of note, Administrator Jackson offered those comments to a reporter from energyNOW! a full week after Region 8 publicly released its final batch of Pavillion data. In that interview, Jackson indicates that she personally analyzed the findings of the report, and was personally involved in conversations and consultations with staff, local officials, environmental groups, the state and the operator.
- After reviewing all that information, and conducting all those interviews, if the administrator believed that test results from EPA’s monitoring wells posed a danger to the community, why would she say the opposite of that on television?
- And if she believed that the state of Wyoming had failed to do its job, why would she – in that same interview – tell energyNOW! that “you can’t start to talk about a federal role [in regulating fracturing] without acknowledging the very strong state role.” (2:46) A week later, why did she choose to double-down on those comments in an interview with Rachel Maddow, telling the cable host that “states are stepping up and doing a good job”? (9:01, aired Nov. 21, 2011)
3) Did all those chemicals that EPA used to drill its monitoring wells affect the results?
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- Diethanolamine? Anionic polyacrylamide? Trydymite? Bentonite? Contrary to conventional wisdom, chemicals are needed to drill wells, not just fracture them – even when the purpose of those wells has nothing to do with oil or natural gas development.
- In this case, however, EPA’s decision to use “dense soda ash” as part of the process for drilling its monitoring wells could have proved a bad one.
- One of the main justifications EPA uses to implicate hydraulic fracturing as a source of potential contamination is the high pH readings it says it found in its monitoring wells. But dense soda ash has a recorded pH (11.5) very similar to the level found in the deep wells, creating the possibility that the high pH recorded by EPA could have been caused by the very chemicals it used to drill its own wells.
- According to Tom Doll, supervisor of the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission: “More sampling is needed to rule out surface contamination or the process of building these test wells as the source of the concerning results.” (as quoted in governor’s press release, Dec. 8, 2011)
4) Why is the author so confident that fracturing is to blame when most of his actual report focuses on potential issues with casing, cement and legacy pits?
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- The report singles-out old legacy pits (which the operator had already voluntarily placed in a state remediation program prior to EPA’s investigation) as the most obvious source of potential contamination. These decades-old pits, which are obviously no longer used, have nothing to do with hydraulic fracturing.
- From the report (page xi): “Detection of high concentrations of benzene, xylenes, gasoline range organics, diesel range organics, and total purgeable hydrocarbons in ground water samples from shallow monitoring wells near pits indicates that pits are a source of shallow ground water contamination in the area of investigation. Pits were used for disposal of drilling cuttings, flowback, and produced water. There are at least 33 pits in the area of investigation.“
- From the report’s concluding paragraph: “[T]his investigation supports recommendations made by the U.S. Department of Energy Panel on … greater emphasis on well construction and integrity requirements and testing. As stated by the panel, implementation of these recommendations would decrease the likelihood of impact to ground water and increase public confidence in the technology.” (p. 39)
5) 2-BE or not 2-BE? That is the question.
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- EPA indicates that it found tris (2-butoxyethyl) phosphate in a few domestic water wells. What the agency doesn’t mention is that this chemical is a common fire retardant found in plastics and plastic components used in drinking water wells. It’s not 2-BE, which, although also a common material, is sometimes associated with the completions process.
- According to EPA, in one of the eight samples collected, a small amount of 2-BE was detected. Interestingly, two other EPA labs that measured for the same exact compound reported not being able to detect it in the duplicate samples they were given.
- According to Wyo. governor Mead: “Members of the [Pavillion] working group also have questions about the compound 2-BE, which was found in 1 sample … while other labs tested the exact same water sample and did not find it.” (Mead press release, Dec. 8, 2011)
6) Is EPA getting enough potassium?
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- Several times in its report, EPA notes that potassium and chloride levels were found to be elevated in its monitoring wells. But just because you have potassium and chloride doesn’t mean you’ve got potassium chloride, a different chemical entirely and one that’s sometimes associated with fracturing solutions. Nowhere in its report does EPA suggest that potassium chloride was detected.
- According to several USGS studies of groundwater quality in the area, variable — and in some cases, high — concentrations of potassium and chloride have been detected in Pavillion-area groundwater for more than 20 years. (USGS 1991, 1992)
- Interestingly, the potassium levels detected in EPA’s first monitoring well declined by more than 50 percent from October 2010 to April 2011, while the potassium level in EPA’s second monitoring well increased during that same period. Only natural variations in groundwater flow and/or composition could have accounted for this disparity.
- Statement from Wyo. Governor: Draft EPA report “scientifically questionable”
- Statement from PAW president: “The draft report coming out of the EPA is reckless.”
- EID issue alert: Five Quick Facts on Pavillion
- Letter: 2009 letter from Encana to Pavillion community
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*Posted with permission from EID
Phelim McAleer of Not Evil Just Wrong recently confronted Josh Fox, director of Gasland, about his omission of the fact that a “1976 study by the Colorado Division of Water found that this area was plagued with gas in the water problems back then. And it was naturally occurring.” A fact that Fox conveniently left out of his film.
Fox’ documentary Gasland, claims that fracking, a way of drilling for natural gas, has polluted water and endangered lives. One of the most alarming scenes is when he lights water that residents claim has been polluted by fracking. It is dramatic and at first glance seems like a slam dunk. I mean they can light their water – it is polluted and there is gas drilling nearby. It must be responsible.
But then a little digging reveals a few inconvenient facts. A 1976 study by the Colorado Division of Water found that this area was plagued with gas in the water problems back then. And it was naturally occurring.
As the report stated there was “troublesome amounts of methane” in the water decades before fracking began. It seems that in geographical areas gas has always been in the water.
But Josh Fox knew this and chose not to put it in Gasland.