It's hard to know what the truth is when it comes to the fracking process. There are so many questions, misconceptions and half-truths out there. How do you know what is right? Whether the fracking process is safe for people and for the environment? Here at ICOSA, we believe the best we can do is to be informed. To listen to all sides of the story and work really hard to see around any media bias.
This week in our Energy 101 segment, we talk with Daniel Richards, New Media Director for FrackNation.
Frack Nation is a documentary film response to the controversial 2010 film, GasLand, produced by Josh Fox. (You may remember the accusations sparked by the film, about residents near wells that had been hydrolicly fractured, lighting their tap water on fire.) Frack Nation seeks to dispel any misconceptions brought about by GasLand.
As Richards explains to our hosts, Jan Mazotti and Kelly de la Torre, the film includes footage of FrackNation journalists in a Q&A session with the GasLand producer, asking if he knew about reports dating 100 years back, that folks have been able to set their tap water on fire, both here and in other countries. Rather than answer the question, Fox questions the journalist's credentials. Until, Richards says, Fox admits that they knew of those reports, "But didn't think it was relevant."
So much for journalistic integrity.
There has been a lot of press and public discussion about fracking, both positive and negative. Along with documentary films, there was the release of Promised Land, a 2012 film starring Matt Damon, John Krasinsky and Frances McDormand - which also took jabs at natural gas companies and fracking. But the film was a box office disappointment.
As Richards says, "Hollywood is interested in fracking, the public is interested in fracking. But the public is not interested in what Hollywood has to say about it."
If you're looking for the truth, listen to all sides. To hear more about FrackNation, tune in to Connect & Collaborate on Saturday at 10:00 AM on KNUS 710 – or listen to our podcast – you’ll find it at the top of this article.
More facts from our discussion with Daniel Richards:
FrackNation was funded with a Kickstarter campaign. They raised $212,000 in donations from 3000 people, making the average donation $70. Any funds received from oil and gas executives or large corporations were refunded. The filmmakers wanted the film to be funded by ordinary people with no involvement from big money.
The process of fracking has been around for 60 years, and only now is surrounded by controversy. There have been more than a million fracked wells, and the track record shows it is the safest form of releasing natural resources with the fewest accidents of any industrial process.