You might not give a flying frack about how we get gas as long as you get enough at the pump for a reasonable price. You might not care to hear a he said-he said about fracking but that is what the 2012 "FrackNation" is. This is a film that was specifically made by Philim McAleer to refute the claims of Josh Fox in his 2010 "Gasland." "FrackNation" opens this weekend at the Laemmle Playhouse 7 in Pasadena.
Now I haven't seen "Gasland" and I'm not particularly inspired to do so unless I can take time to devote a full day to the "Gasland" versus "FrackNation" because the whole argument avoids the bigger question that I will comment on later. And you might even want to make time for a triology: "Gasland," "TruthLand" and "FrackNation." If you wait long enough, you can even add another film to the marathon: "Gasland 2."
What is fracking? Fracking is not something new--it's been going on since the 1940s. It's natural gas drilling used a horizontal drilling method into the shale formations. This is called slickwater fracking. Fracking here means hydraulic fracturing.
The initial push behind "Gasland" began when Josh Fox received a letter. A gas company offered him a lot of money to lease his family's land in order to drill for gas. Fox looked into the procedure and problems of fracking. I haven't see the film, but it inspired the Independent Petroleum Association of America to put up a rebuttal website called "Energy in Depth." As you can imagine, if you have big bucks you can do more and the association went on to produce a film called "TruthLand."
"TruthLand" apparently supports "FrackNation" because it includes clips from "FrackNation." The directors of "FrackNation," Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer claim that Josh Fox covered up some facts and a lot of other relevant information.
"FrackNation" shows certain residents from Dimlock, one of the communities that Josh Fox visited, who aren't bothered by the quality of water and, on the other hand, we see people who complained to Fox and can't seem to substantiate their claims. Then there's the problem of where to get good water? A pipeline that would go from Dimlock to Montrose and cost major bucks.
If you miss "FrackNation" at the Laemmle Pasadena Playhouse 7, "FrackNation" will be on AXS.tv on 22 January 2013 at 9 p.m. and just in time to contrast with Matt Damon and John Krasinski's fictionalized account of fracking and big business duplicity in a small town, the 2012 "Promised Land" which came out at the end of December. One of McAleer's criticisms of Fox is his alignment with Hollywood movie stars.
My main problem with "FrackNation" is that it is set up as part of a conversation or rather, argument and constantly references back to "Gasland" and it doesn't seem concerned with an essential question about energy: How much longer can we depend upon gas? This collection of documentaries seems like too much energy spent on a means of energy that will soon be spent.