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Oscar voters tackle gas 'fracking' controversy

Gasland

Add one more unlikely group to the list of people debating the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" -- Oscar voters.

Energy in Depth, a group representing oil and natural gas producers, has sent a letter to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences arguing that "Gasland," an Academy Award-nominated documentary on fracking, should be ineligible for best documentary feature because it contains inaccuracies. 

Though other industries have launched public relations campaigns to discredit documentaries -- health insurers targeted Michael Moore's "Sicko" in 2007, for instance, and Dole challenged a 2009 documentary called "Bananas!" -- this is the first time an industry group has appealed directly to the academy.

In the letter signed by its executive director, Lee O. Fuller, Energy in Depth called "Gasland" "an expression of stylized fiction."

"The many errors, inconsistencies and outright falsehoods catalogued ... cast serious doubt on 'Gasland's' worthiness for this most honored award, and directly violate both the letter and spirit of the published criteria that presumably must be met by 'Gasland's' competitors in this category," the letter said. Energy in Depth is a coalition of industry groups including the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Assn. and the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers.

In "Gasland," director Josh Fox learns that the land near his Pennsylvania home has been designated for hydraulic fracturing or fracking, a process that involves blasting water, sand and chemicals into underground rock to extract oil or gas. Fox, whose previous film "Memorial Day" was about the Abu Ghraib prisoner-abuse scandal in Iraq, sets out on a road trip to fracking sites around the U.S. to learn more about the process.

Energy in Depth sent its letter to the academy, not to the 5,755 voting members individually. The industry group also published the letter on its website and issued a news release, but it wasn't until the filmmakers themselves began publicizing Energy in Depth's campaign that many in Hollywood took notice of it.

There's more, read the rest.

RELATED:

‘Gasland’ traces hydraulic fracturing across 34 states

Oscars go green: reducing, reusing, recycling!

EPA wants information on gas fracking chemicals 

--Rebecca Keegan
twitter.com/@thatrebecca

Photo: Josh Fox in the documentary "Gasland." Credit: HBO

 
Comments () | Archives (5)

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Just another example of greedy illegitimate children fracking up the environment for the sake of the almighty dollar. So almighty stupid it is redonkulous.

Typical Hollywood. They make films like Gasland, which is lie after lie and then want to give total fiction and award a a documentary film.
They are the same people that think Oliver Stone's JFK is true, but have the nerve to criticize the religious fanatics when they worship myths.
It mystifies me that people complain about fracking which, in these modern times is a great way to extract oil and gas. I think they hear the words oil and gas and just make up a false panic.
Nothing satisfies them!!! Wind - it kills birds. Solar - it hurts the desert tortoise - nuclear - OH- makes them think of Hiroshima instead of clean energy. It's just plain ignorance and gullability fed to them by movies like Gasland. .

It is not surprising that ANGA, an industry lobbyist group, tries to diminish Gasland. See it yourself. And be sure to read "Affirming Gasland" which refutes false industry claims one by one.

In all likelihood, the oil and gas industry has the capacity to produce this resource safely, and should do so. But when it comes to the unproven technology of hydraulic fracturing and other techniques implemented in today's loosely and unregulated, high-demand global market, adverse impacts are observed but go unnoticed by regulatory officials.

Without knowledge of process and, for instance, chemical compounds, there can be no testing. Where there is no testing, there is no violation. Where there is no violation, there is no accountability, no innovation, nor mitigation of impacts. Where this is no belief of impact, there is no believed need for study.

Impacts still occur, as seen on Gasland, but they are without knowledge of scope, acknowledged cause or measurable consequence.

The result of this vigorously defended practice is continually degraded human health which is dependent upon diminished environmental vitality.

The front-end of gas production has long been neatly packaged and presided over in the halls of congress and in the offices of local politicians as an unholy collaboration between the regulated and those who regulate. Gasland merely shines a light on back-end issues arising from the homes of those who bear the brunt of nearly a decade of failed, corrupted policy.

To disqualify this film from recognition -- particularly when point by point rebuttal has been provided by the filmmaker regarding this industry’s objections -- only marginalizes the sacrifices of those who stood up to tell their story despite industry’s efforts to discredit even them.

Flaming water in the creek, shooting out of faucets... It might take coordinated P.R. to defame such obvious alarm, but not a genius. The view from West Divide Creek, CO via journeyoftheforsaken.com/fracpage.htm may help some regular folks decide for themselves.

The natural gas community is committed to safe and responsible development. We welcome questions about the film Gasland because it gives us the opportunity to set the record straight in a fact-based way. Visit http://anga.us/learn-the-facts/the-truth-about-gasland to learn more.


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