Crusading reporter Ann McElhinney is taking on the movie "Gasland" with a documentary movie of her own called "Fracknation", arguing that widely viewed documentary misrepresents the real situation of hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") of shales in the eastern US for natural gas. Ann followed me yesterday on the Energy Minerals Division luncheon program at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Meeting in Long Beach, California. (I spoke about the 'big data' revolution and what it means for the geosciences). Her energy and enthusiasm fired up the room.
"Gasland" has gained worldwide notoriety for showing water from kitchen faucets being lit on fire purportedly from contamination due to fracking. It's created intense concerns about shale gas and fracking and prompted some nations to ban fracking outright. Ann and her production team have been interviewing hundreds of residents in the towns in the film and researching the groundwater histories, to show that natural gas in local wells is a long standing problem preceding gas drilling and fracking by decades or even centuries. Thus explaining why numerous towns have names like "Burning Springs."
Ann and her fellow producers pitched their idea on the KickStart website and quickly raised all the funds they need to make Fracknation.