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‘Truthland’ film takes pro-fracking approach



Published: Mon, August 13, 2012 @ 12:03 a.m.

Steel museum to show industry documentary

By Burton Speakman

bspeakman@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

As oil and gas development continues throughout the area, people continue to seek answers about the processes including fracking and risks.

A film made by a Pennsylvania woman, which was produced by the oil and gas industry, attempts to provide some answers.

Fracking is a process in which sand, water and chemicals are pumped into shale at a high pressure to release the gas trapped within the rock thousands of feet underground.

“Truthland” is a response to the “myths and distortions” that were presented in an HBO documentary “Gasland” produced by Josh Fox, said Dan Alfaro, spokesman for Energy In Depth.

“More than just setting the record straight through a compelling medium, what makes the film so interesting to watch is the star of the film herself: a mother and farmer from Pennsylvania named Shelly, who, shortly after watching ‘Gasland,’ sets out on a cross- country tour in search of facts,” he said. “With Shelly, the messenger is as strong as the message.”

The first Youngstown showing of “Truthland” will be Tuesday at the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor (steel museum) at 151 W. Wood St. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. The documentary will be shown at 7, and a panel discussion will follow.

“Truthland” includes interviews from the Environmental Defense Fund and former regulatory officials among others, Alfaro said. The oil and gas industry paid the production costs of the firm, but those who appeared were not paid to do so.

“It’s very unfortunate that propaganda films such as ‘Gasland’ have had such an impact on the public conversation as it has caused a lot of unnecessary concern for the people who stand to benefit from shale development the most,” he said.

“Our main objective is to get the truth, get the facts out to the public, and this film accomplishes this in a powerful and meaningful way,” Alfaro said.

It was important to bring the film to Youngstown because this area has seen the benefits of Utica Shale development, Alfaro said.

The showing of “Truthland” will be followed nearly a month later, on Sept. 12, by a rally by those who oppose fracking.

The local rally is part of a national effort being coordinated by NEOGAP — Network for Oil & Gas Accountability & Protection — and Frackfree America National Coalition. The time and location of the local event is still to be determined, said Susie Beiersdorfer, a geologist who is part of the Frackfree America National Coalition and Frackfree Mahoning Valley.

“The public is not being fully or adequately informed of the risks of fracking and related processes to public health and safety and well-being,” she said.

“We are calling for increased transparency and public awareness about the truth of toxic fracking waste, which can contain naturally occurring radioactive material and numerous toxic chemicals or known carcinogens, like benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene, that could find their way into drinking water sources or into soil and air via leaks, surface spills near waterways, or well-casing failures,” she added.


Comments

1southsidedave(4780 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

The truth won't be known for quite some time...stay tuned...

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2Leland_T_Snyder(1 comment)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

The issues are too numerous to mention, but more tot he point the enforcement agencies in PA are not working as they should. Here is an incident directly up the road (rt 29) from the Dimock PA incident, and with in 1 mile of the prime character of "TruthLand". Please watch the whole thing, it can't be summarized, it is farmed and local residents trying to get redress on water issues at a local townboard meeting. Of interest is if you research it, you will find that barium and Arsenic, Chromium are all common components of drilling mud these heavy metal salts help lift (by making it byant) debrie away from the drill head (as I understand it).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8l61X...

Now watch the (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPM64k... ( Marcellus Shale Reality Tour Part 5 Truthland ) at the 5:30 mark.

Now compare that with this report on drilling muds:

http://soiltesting.tamu.edu/publicati...

Or search "Chemical Speciation and Flyash Stabilization of Arsenic, Barium, Chromium, and Lead in Drilling Fluid Wastes".

Now I wait for someone to call me a drug smoking hippie, but I am neither.

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3RobX(59 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

In what way is Susie Biersdorfer a "geologist"? Is that her current job? Has she ever had a geology job, aside from part-time teaching a beginner class at YSU?

She says fracking chemicals "can" find their way into soil, air or water. But _do_ they? How often has that actually happened? Is it more often than what happens with gasoline? Does she still use a car to get to fracking protests?

And why did her anti-frackers not protest the thousands of gallons of gas spilled right into our waters when the tanker truck flipped on I-680?

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4Billtucker(4 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

The gas industry and Energy in Depth’s reason for making this movie is to debunk what it says are false claims made by Josh Fox in the Oscar nominated film “Gasland”, that taps can’t be lit on fire because of gas drilling causing methane migration, because the methane has always been there. No one is denying that there is naturally occurring methane in Pennsylvania and other parts of the country. The industry itself does not deny that drilling causes methane migration into aquifers, just Energy in Depth, the lobby group who produced the movie. I personally have videotaped a tap lighting on fire because of drilling in a woman’s backyard with newspaper reporters standing right next to me in this video. http://youtu.be/4LBjSXWQRV8
The whole premise of this video is that Shelly DePue watched “Gasland” with her family and decided to go across country to look for the truth. This is made up. She admits this at 8:10 in this video. http://youtu.be/jUfjWxpxORY The gas industry found her through a land owners group and asked her to be in the video, not how it is portrayed in the film. Nothing like accusing someone of making stuff up by making stuff up. It negates the whole point.
The second glaring problem is that the woman in the video goes around the country talking to experts that tell her that the well casings in gas drilling are safe and do not leak. What is not mentioned in the video is that after filming, one of the 10 wells on her property was found leaking and bubbling methane. Here is the link to the Inspection Report on that well. http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?se...
The third problem is that in the family makes a list of questions for Shelly to ask the experts including: “Do the gas companies follow the rules?” Apparently not. There was a 10 barrel oil based mud spill at the families well pad that WPX did not report. http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?se...
The forth issue is that Dr. Engleder implies that dish detergent is the only other substance in frack fluid besides water. Hmmm. Then says Josh’s Gasland is full of innuendo. Hmmm. I don't recall hydrochloric acid in my dish detergent. See link http://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvan...
He goes on to imply there has never been any problems with wells drilled in the last 50 years. What about all the abandoned and old wells in PA I see on YouTube with the bubbling methane? http://www.youtube.com/user/GeoguyNEP...

In the video, Loren Salsman gives Shelly a nice glass of Dimock water and they drink up. What is not shown or mentioned in the video is that the water goes through an elaborate filter system provided by Cabot Oil and Gas, the gas company responsible for the methane migration in his well. http://youtu.be/Kni3UDhj550

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5Tigerlily(488 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Hey RobX, maybe you didn't know Ms. Biersdorfer's worked FOR the gas and oil industry in her past. She knows what she's talking about.

Teaching part time at YSU is something she does for fun.

I love how people think they know something about someone just because they can look it up on the internet. Idiots.

By the way, the only propaganda here is this so-called "Truth"land, since it's the only the gas industry that serves to profit from these lies. The guy who made "Gasland" watched his community die, and you can go there yourself and see it.

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6Ytown20(118 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

The film is "produced by the oil and gas industry."

Nothing more needs to be said.

A puff piece by a desperate industry loosing it's footing as people learn more and more about the dangers of this utterly destructive process.

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