Gasland Part II: New Name, Same Propaganda
Remember the frackaphobic film Gasland (2010) directed by Pennsylvania native Josh Fox? Although a documentary in name, we proved the film to be largely fictional. Despite critical acclaim and an Oscar nomination, the film grossed a meager $30,000 at the box office.
But that hasn’t stopped Mr. Fox from filming a sequel creatively titled Gasland Part II.
Thankfully, the Washington Free Beacon saved us the trouble of watching it by publishing their own fact-check. The Beacon focuses on four of the new film’s main hydraulic fracturing myths summarized below.
Myth: Water contamination is caused by fracking.
Fact: Ironically, as we reported earlier this week, the EPA backed away from the very study cited in the film that supposedly showed fracking at fault for contaminated water in Wyoming.
Myth: One flawed study proves natural gas is not environmentally friendly.
Myth: Fracking causes earthquakes.
Fact: The Free Beacon points out that minor tremors have been associated with poorly placed waste water disposal injection wells, not the fracking process itself.
Myth: Well casings and safety precautions are inadequate.
Fact: Fox uses a scary article showing 60 percent of well casings fail within 30 years. But the article refers to wells drilled under the ocean in the Gulf of Mexico using a different method than the land-based natural gas industry uses. Another study on land-based wells in Ohio and Texas showed an infinitesimal .00006 percent failure rate (14 of 220,000 wells).
So, why is it so important to combat these falsehoods?
The Times-Tribune reported last week that Scranton area residents are paying one-third less for natural gas than five years ago. Marcellus Shale Coalition spokesman, Pat Creighton, commented, “We are flush with gas in the United States, and that is a direct benefit to the consumer.”
Lower energy prices don’t just benefit consumers, either.
An Austrian steelmaker is actually outsourcing a production facility with 150 jobs to the U.S.—Texas to be exact. Why? Due to fracking, the natural gas used to power industrial smelters costs 75 percent less here than in Europe. Natural gas is fueling economic growth nationwide and here in Pennsylvania.
For an honest take on the fracking’s impact, and an entertaining takedown of Josh Fox’s propaganda, watch the documentary FrackNation instead.
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The Commonwealth Foundation is Pennsylvania's free-market think tank. The Commonwealth Foundation crafts free-market policies, convinces Pennsylvanians of their benefits, and counters attacks on liberty.