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FrackNation
Year:
2013
Country:
USA, UK, Poland
Genre:
Documentary
IMDB rating:
6.0
Director:
Ann McElhinney, Phelim McAleer
Mark Ruffalo as Himself (archive footage)
Craig Sautner as Himself - Resident, Dimmock, Pennsylvania
Mike Uretsky as Himself
Bryan Swistock as Himself
Carl Shaffer as Himself
Marian Schweighofer as Herself - Dairy Farmer
Karl Canfield as Himself - Dimock, Pennsylvania, Dairy Farmer
Terry Engelder as Himself
Karen Radwanski as Herself - Resident, Dimock, Pennsylvania
Bruce Ames as Himself
Bill Graby as Himself
Josh Fox as Himself
Ernest Majer as Himself
Storyline: FrackNation follows journalist Phelim McAleer as he faces gun threats, malicious 911 calls and bogus lawsuits when questioning green extremists for the truth about fracking. Fracking is going to make America one of the world's leading energy producers and has become the target of a concerted campaign by environmentalists who want it banned. In FrackNation McAleer travels across the USA and Europe to uncover the science suppressed by environmental activists and ignored by much of the media. He talks with scientists and ordinary Americans who live in fracking areas and who tell him the truth behind the exaggerations and misrepresentations of anti-fracking activists.
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Reviews
Slickly Packaged Bunk Disguised as Journalism
I just finished watching "Fracknation", a documentary film by Irish director Phelim McAleer that purports to be a "journalist's search for the fracking truth". What a blatant piece of propaganda! Very slickly produced, the film was funded through a Kickstarter campaign, which was a very clever ploy to avoid disclosing the filmmakers' obvious love affair with climate change deniers and the oil and gas industry. Far from searching out the truth, this film is a one-sided (and, on the surface, convincing) attempt to debunk the anti-fracking documentary GASLAND and its sequel, Gasland 2.

It does not take long to see where this film is going, as it demonizes Josh Fox (the director of Gasland) and discredits anybody who appeared in that documentary. The film is filled with clever editing, tear-jerking scenes of farmers who claim that gas leases are the key to their survival, interviews with academic scientists who remind you of the types of so-called scientists who would deny that smoking cigarettes causes cancer, and the type of imagery that is a cross between Ronald Reagan's "Morning in America" and the public relations films that came out of the chemical industry back in the 1950s and 1960s.

If you were to believe this film, there is not a single documented case of water contamination or seismic activity associated with fracking. Among other things, the film suggests that: 1) broccoli contains more carcinogens than fracking fluid 2) geothermal wells are the greatest cause of earthquakes 3) the manufacture of solar panels is one of the most toxic processes on the planet.

There is no mention of discharge wells and no mention of the massive volumes of water that are used (and subsequently contaminated) in the fracking process. To the contrary, the film suggests that there are only 3 days when a fracking well represents even the slightest risks, followed by 20, 30 or 40 years of clean energy production, satisfying the world's insatiable love of energy. It even goes as far as to suggest that Vladimir Putin is orchestrating opposition to fracking in Europe and the United States because he does not want to see inexpensive natural gas production interfering with the export profits of Gazprom, the Russian gas giant.

This film is anything but a search for the truth. It is nothing more than slickly packaged bunk disguised as journalism.
2014-07-24
Excellent documentary
I have taken years' worth of courses at my University on energy resource processing and climate change. I have studied the topic of fracking extensively and exhaustively. GasLand promotes so much garbage disinformation, bad science and hogwash propaganda, that I don't even know where to start.

Let's start by saying that one dangerous chemical used in fracking is dihydrogen monoxide which is a primary component of rocket fuel and a high-temperature welding gas and kills hundreds of people each year (including children) through accidental ingestion of large amounts. Dihydrogen monoxide also reacts vigorously if exposed to any electrical current, creating two highly explosive gases (through electrolysis), potentially blowing up your home! You do not want your children anywhere near this … if you think lighting a methane fire in your faucet is bad enough, just wait.

But I was just bulls**iting you! Because dihydrogen monoxide is the chemical name for water (H20). Hundreds die each year by drowning, and electricity splits the H(ydrogen) and O(xygen) apart; liquid hydrogen is pure rocket fuel, and pure oxygen is used in welding. Electrolysis is the process of splitting the H and O, two highly combustible gasses, one of which can suffocate you, and both of which (if combined) can drown you.

So just as with my example above, GasLand puts together a neat bag of bulls**t, makes it sound scientifically accurate, and stupid people buy it.

There are notable risks associated with fracking. But if we de-blow those risks back into proportion, using scientific and reasonable analysis, we find that the risks of fracking are in fact much less then that of oil drilling. Oil drilling has caused, and currently poses much more serious risks (Deepwater Horizon, Valdez spills ring a bell?) that don't seem to be serious enough for an OilLand documentary. Moreover, wouldn't we want to be self-sufficient in energy production and break the chains of our middle East reliance?

NO I do not work for an oil company, but YES I have spent hundreds of hours studying the subject, for which I can speak for hours on … so contact me should you want an in-depth discussion of the risks (abnormal seismic activity?) …

I'll end with a FUN FACT:

Did you know Global Warming was changed to 'Climate Change' after a team of researchers found that people were skeptical of 'Global Warming' but believed in 'Climate Change' – so politicians were instructed to replace 'Global warming' with 'Climate change' in speeches, and the trick worked. People supported climate change but not global warming, even though they're identical terms.

So what gas companies need to do is slightly modify their extraction method and declare "Were not going to engage in fracking any longer, it's too dangerous … were reverting to 'standard natural gas drilling' from now on."

Case closed.
2014-08-20
Wonderful movie!
Fracking has been going on for 40 years in Colorado with no problems. It's only in the last few years that the environmental groups have decided that fracking is evil. There were plenty of environmental groups in the 70's and 80's and you can bet they knew about fracking at that time. I've recently learned that a lot of environmental groups are only in it for the money that they've learned they can make by settling out of court with these big corporations. These groups claim to be noble and righteous, but they have become parasites that make money off the hard work of other people. It's the worst form of profiting. The irony is that most of these groups say that profit is evil also.
2014-05-21
The Verdict is Fracking does not pollute the Water
I found this movie very informative. Also I have discussed this issue of horizontal fracking and they say there is no issue. Problems if any are isolated cases. Ranch owners in Kansas, Texas and Bakken all have made big money as they got millions of dollar to give permit to oil companies to drill for shale oil/gas. UI think folks in Delaware and NY are misguided. They are losing an opportunity to make big bucks. Also considering that today most Agricultural and farm products are not very profitable due to falling prices and due to Big AG and Big farm cutting their profits they would do well to allow drilling. They are losing an opportunity to make big bucks. Also considering that today most Agriculturla and farmproducts are not very profitable due to flling prices they would do well to alow drilling
2015-10-25
An enjoyable and informative documentary.
I found this to be an enjoyable and informative documentary. Anyone who has endured the lies and distortions of _Gasland_ should watch this as a corrective follow-up. I had feared that _FrackNation_ would be a dumb American TV-style film, but was pleased to find it kept the intelligence level pretty high and the pace was even.

The film is very well photographed and edited, and the sound was clearly conveyed throughout (subtitles are used on some sections). Some documentaries are better heard without the visuals, as if they're radio documentaries - but in this one the visual are really integral.

Personally I would have cut the short and weak speculative section (Delingpole through to Putin) on possible Russian money finding its way to anti- shale gas campaigners. Similarly the fleeting aside about the Chinese and their attempts to corner the market in rare-earth magnets for wind turbines. Maybe true, maybe not - but it sounds too conspiratorial, since no evidence is presented. I would have also cut the camerawoman being slightly wounded (by an art gallery guard who had wrenched her camera out of her hand) near the end of the film. I also found a little cheesy the slightly over-manipulative footage of happy kids near the end. These visual elements add little or nothing to the film's argument. But generally this is a fine debunking of the deeply misleading _Gasland_.
2013-08-17
Freedom of Information
It was nice to hear the other side of the story. I'm sick of the 1% (actors and rich politicians) manipulating our information to fit their agendas. There are too many groups in our country who wish to censor opposition rather than have a calm debate over the facts. Why wouldn't you welcome investigations by multiple source to prove your point? America needs more debate and information free of censorship. This documentary was well produced. It really showed how we in America can be managed by a biased media. Actors who are either uninformed or have their own agenda push questionable information. We need to question the information put before us rather than viciously supporting it and tearing down opposition. This film does exactly what we all need to do. When presented with information first ask if it's true. Seek out other sources that support or disprove the information. To be clear, I'm not saying I believe this documentary 100%. Only that it's nice to hear another point of view.
2014-08-17
Excellent documentary that does what a documentary should: shine a light on truth
When Michael Moore filmed Roger and Me, I applauded him for standing up to big corporate America. Ironically, the tables have completely turned. Documentarians who once were interested in uncovering truth and righting wrongs have now turned to pushing agendas and twisting facts. The latest efforts by such filmmakers as Michael Moore, Al Gore, and the newest member of the club, Josh Fox, show that one-sided analyses, coupled with big Hollywood production values, are enough to brainwash masses of people.

Ironically, the tables have completely turned. Those who once fought for speaking truth to power are now the power--and they want to bully and silence filmmakers like Phelim McAleer. While they claim the speak for the common man, McAleer literally went to the common man to fund this project through Kickstarter, and the people he interviews in the film are all farmers and landowners who have been silenced by big environmental activist groups, helped by big Hollywood and a left-wing media.

McAleer's statistics are well-researched, beautifully presented, and provide a much-needed "other side of the story" to a debate that's been dominated by loud and intolerant voices.

I won't go so far as to say it's completely balanced or unbiased, but it does do the thing that great documentaries do: showcase the hypocrisy and the intolerance of the left and bring to light those whose voices have been silenced by the conspiracy of NGOs, politicians, and media working together. And it shows what a hypocrite Josh Fox is, a coward who can't take in as he dishes out.

It's really a shame that these same mindless robots and useful idiots are going to come to IMDb and downvote this movie and this review. Don't pay attention to whatever rating you see. This documentary is, bar none, the best I've seen in the last year and one of the top 10 I've seen in my life. If you're interested in understanding the truth beyond all the obfuscation and lies promulgated by the anti-fracking fanatics, you owe it to yourself to watch this.
2013-01-25
An informative documentary with strong investigative reporting
This film has a strong premise of uncovering the truth. It especially focuses on a response to Gasland, a Josh Fox film, that has riled the media with its flaming faucet scene. FrackNation exposes the truth behind that scene and a lot of the so-called facts that are in Gasland and puts Josh Fox and biased lawmakers on the hot-seat.

Since the release of this movie the Dimmock story continues with the latest news this week that the most vocal couple in Dimmock and in the movie (the ones who constantly display dirty bottled water) have sold their house for a very good price and moved to a small farm in New York state. They retained the gas and oil lease rights at their sold home and their new farm is also under a gas and mineral lease. Go figure! We, the farmers and property owners, have been victimized long enough by twisted lies. This movie is a great way to expose those lies and tell the story of our struggles to be heard over the movie star injected nonsense. They have high-jacked the title "Environmentalists" when we are the real protectors of the land and the environment. We realize that natural gas will save the open spaces in the Marcellus Shale Basin for generations to come. Thanks you for making this film.
2013-02-01
...and people still refuse to accept facts.
Why does this currently only have a 5.9 star rating on IMDb. I guess stupid is forever, even in the faces of so-called "facts" being obliterated, people will not accept fracking is not destroying the environment.

This whole thing is a result of the digital age of stupidity. Nobody ever finds the need to fact check anymore. There are so many sources for info today so if someone doesn't want to accept facts they just go out and find a source that will just give them facts they want to hear.

This is a great little documentary film unlike the fake documentaries that are so persistent today. An interesting subject that wasn't taken very far popped up which should lead to a bigger discussion. It's the Russian influence in the anti-fracking industry/special interest group.

Is "Climate change" real? I believe it is, but grossly exaggerated as the climate always changes. The big push is an EU creation. Here's how. The "Climate Change," or global warning back then, took center stage at an interesting time. The Berlin Wall had fallen and the Soviet Union was economically defeated. Soon the EU formed. Why? The EU was formed for economic viability, namely, to compete with the U.S.. There was 2 problems the EU had in order to compete. 1, the need for economic aid to combat the USSR was over and this could effect gas prices. 2nd, Europe's oil supply was still controlled by the Russians. This led to a hard truth. No matter how hard the EU tried, Oil prices would hold them back. The U.S. has it's own oil, and Canada to the north is another source for the US. We also refine a lot of the worlds oil. Fuel is cheaper in the U.S..

This lead to the carbon credit, and climate change schemes that not only cost a lot of money, but make no sense because proposals have little to no impact. They do make sense though when you realize that the scheme involves massive U.S. spending, and basically the U.S. doling out tons of dollars to destroy their own economy, while the EU kicks back, and becomes an economic leader because they engineered the whole scam.

This documentary on fracking is worth watching and deserves much better than the ridiculous activist's that are suppressing it, will lead you too believe.
2015-01-07
Science trumps Emotion
Phelim McAleer in "FrackNation" provides a well researched, thorough, entertaining, and scientific rebuttal to the emotional pleas provided in Josh Fox's "GasLand."

Opponents of hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking) would have us believe that the human push-and-pull of fueling civilization versus conserving the biosphere is a left-versus-right or climate change supporter versus denier phenomenon; in fact it is a conflict of science versus emotion. This is the genius of "GasLand": we want to get emotionally angry over a cause. "FrackNation," however, tosses some ice onto those smoldering embers with cold facts.

Nothing is more damaging to the platform of "GasLand" supporters than Fox's multiple refusals to answer pointed questions from McAleer:

McAleer: "Isn't it true that decades before fracking started, that there was methane in the water there?" (regarding the flammable tap water)

Fox: "Can you identify yourself?"

McAleer: "My name is Philem McAleer."

Fox: "Okay, where are you from?"

McAleer: "I'm a journalist."

Fox: "Journalist from where?"

McAleer: "From Ireland."

Fox: "From Ireland?"

McAleer: "Yes. Isn't it true..."

Fox: "You're concerned about the fracking going on in Ireland?"

McAleer: "No, I'm concerned about the accuracy of the documentary."

Fox: "You're a journalist for what paper?"

On the surface, a cause's champion refusing to answer the opposition is unsettling but it goes further; Fox's thinly veiled attempts to impugn the credentials of McAleer--even his nationality--and his absolute refusal to respond to challenges to "GasLand's" documentary authenticity leave the watcher mentally ticking off points in McAleer's column. But there's more.

At another point, Fox repeatedly refuses to engage MacAleer in conversation at an event held at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Eventually McAleer and his director are ejected from the event... scientific dialog indeed.

Through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, McAleer obtains video from the US Government's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the largest environmental regulatory body in the world. In this video, the Sautner family--the champions of "GasLand"--were presented with the results of an EPA sampling of their well water, demonstrating that the well water was not contaminated. The Sautners react with emotion: the wife storms out, the husband demanding the results are false, and the EPA representative stating "we found no contaminants."

Scientific and methodical thinking people of the entire political spectrum are forced by this film to consider the evidence of the hydraulic fracturing issue and see the opponents reacting with emotional pleas and the supporters providing clear and well documented science.

--oversoul
2015-04-26
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