Gasland Debunked_Feature_07-2013

The Gasland II flameout

We live at a time when documentaries can have far-reaching influence on the public dialogue. The best ones explore issues with integrity and intellectual honesty.

Nowhere is this more important than with regard to energy policy – where facts and science should guide our discussions.

Unfortunately, director Josh Fox has fallen far short of this standard again, betraying his viewers and fellow citizens.

His new documentary, Gasland II, has been running in heavy rotation on HBO’s suite of channels.  But repetition does not confer truth.

Gasland II is less a documentary than an “unabashed and one-sided bashing of the oil and gas industry,” as Resources for the Future’s Alan J. Krupnik described it. In that way, the film follows in the footsteps of the original (and thoroughly discredited) Gasland.

The folks at Energy in Depth (EID) have taken the time to expose the numerous outlandish claims made in Gasland II, as well. EID’s takedown is fairly comprehensive.

For a quicker overview of what Gasland II gets wrong, check out EID’s handy infographic nearby.

The Park Foundation, which has helped bankroll Fox’s two anti-fracking films, recently announced it has advanced him $100,000 to make a third installment.

Of course, that was before the reviews rolled in – from all across the political spectrum – questioning Fox’s approach and the film’s integrity. For example:

  • An overwrought polemic…Gasland II is chock-full of errors and falsehoods…more middling art than serious science. ~ The American Interest
  • The problem with Gasland [II] is that it is entertainment that actually is “science denial” and thus not fitting as an educational documentary or journalism. ~ Daily Kos
  • Gasland Part II runs longer than the earlier installment, but ultimately it has less to say. ~ Indiewire

So, that’s what the critics are saying.

Back in the real world, Americans are increasingly seeing hydraulic fracturing for what it really is – a technological game changer pioneered in the USA that the industry is safely and responsibly utilizing to unlock vast supplies of domestic, cleaner-burning natural gas. The results are boosting our economy and strengthening our energy security.

No amount of propaganda films can change that.