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Gasland director hides full facts
Written by Phelim McAleer   
Wednesday, 01 June 2011 00:41

Gasland_Q__AJosh Fox has made a documentary that makes some pretty alarming claims about gas drilling across the US. But as is often the case when these claims are examined they do not stand up to scrutiny.

Fox' documentary Gasland, claims that fracking, a way of drilling for natural gas, has polluted water and endangered lives. One of the most alarming scenes is when he lights water that residents claim has been polluted by fracking. It is dramatic and at first glance seems like a slam dunk. I mean they can light their water - it is polluted and there is gas drilling nearby. It must be responsible.

But then a little digging reveals a few inconvenient facts. A 1976 study by the Colorado Division of Water found that this area was plagued with gas in the water problems back then. And it was naturally occurring.

As the report stated there was "troublesome amounts of methane" in the water decades before fracking began. It seems that in geographical areas gas has always been in the water.

But Josh Fox knew this and chose not to put it in Gasland.

I asked him about this omission at a recent screening at Northwestern University in Chicago.

He said he had not included these facts that questioned his alarmism because "they were not relevant." He also dropped the bombshell that I had not been aware of that there were media reports of people lighting their water as far back as 1936. Again this was not included in Gasland because it was not relevant.

Perhaps Josh you should include all the evidence and let people figure out what is relevant and what is not.



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Comments (16)add comment

Dyrewulf said:

Unsurprising...
...that anything, ANY FACT that contradicts the 'foregon conclusion' this nimrod set out to push is ignored. He's Al Gore Jr in this respect, make money off of it, don't bother with facts or truth.
 
June 01, 2011
Votes: +4

nick said:

perrier gasses
A lot of deep source artesian spring water will contain gasses including hydrogen sulphide. remember the scandal a few years back when it was revealed that the bubbles in Perrier water were actually benzene
 
June 02, 2011
Votes: +2

Lou F said:

...
I actually agree with Fox on this subject. Those reports of naturally occurring methane leaks were last reported back from 1976. These people stated that they never had problems with their water before until the recent 4 to 5 years that natural gas drilling began around the area. In that 4 to 5 years, these people could light their water on fire. It was even shown numerous times that the "fracking" process releases heavy amounts of methane into the air. So, what's to stop the process from releasing methane underground and seeping into local water wells?
 
June 02, 2011
Votes: -4

JDN said:

...
remember: "hide the decline"
 
June 02, 2011
Votes: +0

Scott said:

...
Thank you Mr. McAleer. Josh Fox strikes me to be a charlatan.
 
June 02, 2011
Votes: +1

OBQuiet said:

No video available.
Seems YouTube has pulled the video. Too Bad, I would have liked to look it over.
 
June 03, 2011
Votes: +2

Adam Gallon said:

June 04, 2011
Votes: +1

The Iceman Cometh said:

Thanks!
To Adam Gallon for the HU. The confession is awful - given the impact that I know the blazing water made, and the fact that the image was used repeatedly in the film. Can the nominators now please withdraw their Oscar nomination?
 
June 04, 2011
Votes: +1

iurockhead said:

biogenic vs thermogenic
For those unaware, biogenic gas (methane) is created by bacteria metabolism in the absence of oxygen. Land fills create a lot of methane. It happens in the shallow sub-surface, such as in water tables.

Thermogenic gas is created at significant depth, and high temperature, as a chemical breakdown of organic material. The process creates oil, and at higher temperature, gas.

The composition of biogenic and thermogenic gas are different, and they can be easily distinguised. The wells that are being hydrologically fractured, or fraced, are producing thermogenic gas. A simple analysis of the gas can determine where it came from. The gas burning in the kitchen sink was biogenic. If it was thermogenic, it could be argued that the gas wells were involved, and if they had that evidence, it would be front and center.
 
June 05, 2011
Votes: +0

LadyImpactOhio said:

Don't know if you guys know but Gasland was noimnated for an Oscar. Thank goodness it lost. Should have been in the "fiction" category, NOT documentary.
I have been following this very closely. Trying to get certain kinds of fracking banned in PA. NY also already banned horizontal fracking, thanks to ACORN-founded Working Families Party. Cuomo is continuing the ban after Paterson instituted it.
 
June 05, 2011
Votes: +1

GreenDragon said:

Don't take your eyes off the ball
There's a great deal more to it than Mr. Fox's use of flaming tap water as a grabber image. Well drillers use a cornucopia of additives, proppants and chemicals in developing and completing shale formation (and other) gas wells. They have never disclosed the components of these fluids, preferring to claim that they are "proprietary" and need protection under "trade secret" laws. Folks who believe this also swear that Shell's 93 Octane gasoline formulation works MUCH better than Exxon's 93 Octane gasoline in their 2004 Durango. Ridiculous. Worse, absolutely ridiculous. Halliburton (under court order) has now released component lists of some of these proprietary fluids. It's pretty ugly.

Drillers and payroll hydrogeologists will tell you that the vast majority of frac'd wells are liberating natural gas which is trapped below geologic layers of salt domes and other impermeable rock and mineral strata, such that there is no possibility of the drilling, fracing and completion fluids contaminating aquifers at much shallower depths. This may be true in some cases, and may not be true in others. Hydrogeology has come a long, long way in the last few decades, but most of the research conducted is limited to shallower water-bearing formations. Simply put, no one really knows what percentage of trapped development and completion fluids might get loose from fractured strata, and how these would behave underground. You can be reasonably sure that if the "experts" are hazy on this, so is everyone else.

I've got nothing against exploration and development, but let's have a little hard science behind it before we go Coco for Coco Puffs. If all you've got to hang your hat on is criticism of Fox's lack of rigor in the movie and flat-out acceptance of statements made by energy industry insiders about how safe fracing really is, well...for your sake, I hope they don't frac a formation near your potable-source aquifer!
 
June 09, 2011
Votes: +2

Zach said:

Vimeo
Has also pulled the video... Where can I see the clip?
 
June 10, 2011
Votes: +0

Papa Giorgio said:

Should post on LiveLeak
No video! Should post it on liveleak.
 
June 28, 2011
Votes: +0

Kenneth Ward said:

...
Josh Fox was a passenger in my cab yesterday. He told me his name was Roma, he tried to pay the fare with a credit card in yet a third name which was declined. He then bolted from my cab into Denver Iternational Airport. I didn't get paid the 34 dollar fare.

I'm a disabled veteran who served on a submarine. I have thyroid cancer from the radiation I was exposed to 30 years ago. I nees to get paid.
 
July 14, 2011
Votes: -4

Drew said:

Questions for the journalists on this one
Did you discuss in your film the difficulties of identifying point sources of contamination from fracking when the proprietary chemicals used are pumped thousands of feet below ground? Did your investigative journalism focus only on debunking claims from Gasland, which are intriguing, or did you look further into the efforts of oil and gas development companies to protect their cocktail by skirting EPA regulations? Debunking false claims, fine, great. But dig further to see if there is any truth to the fracking concerns. Looking forward to seeing your film, love to see both sides, but the truth still evades us as long as toxic chemicals are being spilled and pumped into our earth.
 
May 21, 2013
Votes: +3

Gabrielle said:

Fracking: Irony meets Hypocrisy
(The brash persuasiveness of this article and the soul-crushing indictment of Fox reminds me of the fracking company's uber manipulation in the movie PROMISED LAND, in which all chance of their losing was removed -- skillfully, surgically.)

FF 3 years:
Now that Rex Tillerson, the CEO of ExxonMobile, has filed a lawsuit to keep fracking out of HIS neighborhood and used the reasons homeowners and small towns all over the country have used -- including the fact that it isn't SAFE, maybe naysayers will step back and take another look, rather than gleefully swallow what's fed them.
 
February 25, 2014
Votes: +0

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