Earlier in the week, the Scranton Times-Tribune published an article on “FrackNation,” a documentary that examines the various issues behind fracking. Sounds like just another frack fight, right? Turns out, there’s more behind “FrackNation” than its pro-fracking viewpoint.
Last night, Pittsburgh native Mark Cuban’s cable channel AXS debuted “FrackNation” to the public. Giving viewers a synopsis to mull over before making the all important TV channel decision, AXS described the program by saying, “Journalist Phelim McAleer faces threats, cops, and bogus lawsuits questioning green extremists for the truth about fracking.”
Focusing on Northeastern Pennsylvania, the film presents viewers with the case of a Dimock couple that says their water was contaminated by nearby drilling. Similary cases in the county were showcased in an anti-fracking film “Gasland” released earlier this year that is highly critisized throughout “FrackNation.”
While the truth about fracking seems to be muddled between the arguments of those for and against the nation’s latest oil boom, those that had gathered for the viewing party in Susquehanna sided with “FrackNation,” taking to Twitter to voice their opinion.
“Just saw #fracknation premiere on AXS TV. Good film and excellent answer to the lies of Josh Fox’s Gasland,” tweeted Stan Kerr, a resident of Normal, Illinois who is one of many that took shots at “Gasland” as well as Matt Damon’s “Promised Land” on the social media website.
Sponsored by the National Association of Royalty Owners - which represents citizens who own oil and gas rights – the pro-fracking viewing party proved that this is far more than a battle between big corporations and everyday individuals, as the corporations stepped back and let the people do the talking.
According to the Times-Tribune, Clifford Root, a Tioga County Landowner, said during a break in the film that “FrackNation” gave a voice to those that hadn’t been represented enough. ”These farmers are telling the truth,” he told the Times-Tribune, “that they wouldn’t be able to make it without some help.” Wayne County and Montrose farmers also played a prominent role in the film.
“FrackNation” also highlights its argument by working directly against “Gasland.” Though this is not a new tactic – the anti-fracking movie spawning plenty of industry-funded response films - “FrackNation” used crowdfunding website Kickstarter to collect support from roughly 3,300 nonindustry donors.
According to the Times-Tribune, the “Gasland” creators issued a statement saying that Mr. Fox refused contact with Mr. McAleer, the two directors starting a feud of their own.