Documentary Analysis: Frack Nation

The oil & gas industry has fracked thousands of wells over the past 50+ years safely and without incident.  Often times the mainstream media, looking to break headlines in the 24/7 news cycle, will report allegations of environmental damage from fracking without a lot of facts to back it up.  Then after they have scarred the public and enticed government officials to act…………they move on to the next story.  A new documentary, Frack Nation, premiered last night on AXS.tv.  The documentary had a number of objectives for creating the film:Frack Nation 2

  • Research the facts about fracking oil & gas wells.
  • Interview Land Owners, Government Officials, and Scientists for their subject matter expert (SME) opinion on fracking.
  • Present an alternative point of view from the popular anti-fracking movie, GasLand.

I watched the documentary and found it to be both informative and genuinely attempting to obtain the truth.  I encourage you to view the film and make your own opinion as well.  Below represents the summary points I picked up from this quality documentary:

  • Frack Nation was funded with over $200K in donations by individuals around the world (26 countries in total) that contributed money on the entrepreneurial website KickStarter.com.  (We here at MlpReport.com think this is super cool and only ads credibility to the film.)
  • Farmers and land owners are financially impacted when Pennsylvania and New York enforce bans on fracking for land where owners want (and financial need) oil & gas drilling to occur.
  • A family that claimed Cabot Oil & Gas contaminated their water was found to have perfectly safe water by the the State of Pennsylvania and the EPA.  Frack Nation obtained a video from the EPA, via the Freedom of Information Act, displaying the family irate that the EPA found their water to be safe (you would expect them to be pleased with that result right?).
  • Anti-fracking reports would lead you to believe that fracking is unregulated.  Frack Nation interviews an engineer from Range Resources and they display the files and the volume of permits, environmental testing, and State/Federal regulations they must comply with for a single well.
  • Frack Nation presents lots of inconsistencies about the GasLand documentery, the motivations of the GasLand Director (Josh Fox), and the validity of the facts he presents.  Frack Nation attempted to interview Mr. Fox both in public and private, but he refused to answer their questions.
  • GasLand displays a water faucet in Pennsylvania catching on fire, allegedly due to methane contamination from fracking.  Frack Nation interviews other land owners that point out water wells have always produced methane.
  • Gasland uses lots of scary words describing the chemicals that oil companies use to frack wells.  Frack Nation interviews a biologist at the University of California Berkley to determine if these scary words are actually toxic to humans.  That SME on all things biology explains those are simply fancy words, you could use the same descriptions for toxins in cauliflower.  While cauliflower is toxic to the taste buds, its poses no danger to the body.  #BOOM

Random Side Note:

The channel hosting the Frack Nation premiere, AXS.tv, is Mark Cuban’s reincarnation of his HDNet Channel.  I did not even know I had this channel on DirecTv, and was interested in viewing content for the first time.  I was a bit disappointed when the same promotional video on Justin Timberlake dance moves ran during every commercial period and the best programming AXS.tv seemed to offer was Dan Rather reporting.  In a world where content is king AXS.tv picked a winner by premiering Frack Nation, but their regular programming seems lacking.

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