“Gasland” Nothing But Hot Air

Published on June 21, 2010, 10:32 pm
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Those planning to tune in to HBO tonight to view the anti-drilling film “Gasland” should know this: it is a fairy tale; pure fiction and poorly disguised as a factual documentary.

Independent filmmaker Josh Fox misleads his audience and takes enormous liberties with history and fact in his new, sensationalized “documentary,” in which he chronicles his cross-country trip to find incidences of pollution by oil and gas operators. Energy In Depth, a respected industry trade group, broke down the movie minute-by-minute to counter the false claims, assumptions and ridiculous conclusions Fox made during his journey. Energy In Depth set the record straight.

“I’m certain that Mr. Fox never thought his film would get so much attention, so he probably wasn’t concerned about being exposed for his deceitful and sloppy work,” said IOGA of New York spokesman Jim Smith. “But no one should get a free pass to lie to the American people. I commend Energy in Depth for shining a light on the absurd and irresponsible claims Mr. Fox makes in his project.”

Mr. Fox misrepresents the laws governing drilling, and the processes involved in natural gas exploration; he reiterates myths that have long been discredited and, in many cases, rewrites history. The following examples from Energy in Depth demonstrate his recklessness with the facts:

Fox states that the 2005 energy bill exempts the oil and natural gas industries from the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Superfund law, and about a dozen other environmental and Democratic regulations. This entire statement is false. The industry is regulated under every one of these laws under provisions of each that are relevant to its operations.

The film claims there is no way to monitor what chemicals and materials oil and gas industries are using. This is blatantly false. Environmental regulations from Pennsylvania, which can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Conservation’s website, state that “drilling companies must disclose the names of all chemicals to be stored and used at a drilling site.” New York’s DEC website also lists the ingredients. In addition, law requires the fracturing fluid ingredients be posted at drill sites.

In order to frack, you need some fracking fluid … a mix of over 596 chemicals.” According to a U.S. Department of Energy/Ground Water Protection Council report, “any single fracturing job would use a few of the available additives.” The most prominent of these additives, besides sand, is a substance known as guar gum, an emulsifier commonly found in ice cream.

“A typical hydraulic fracturing job will use 10 to 12 ingredients other than water and sand,” Smith said.

View the full text of the analysis at here.

IOGA-NY was founded in 1980 to protect, foster and advance the common interests of oil and gas producers, as well as professionals and related industries in the State of New York. To send a message to Albany in support of natural gas exploration, visit marcellusfacts.com.


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