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Fracking mockumentary by a political attack ad agency
Fracking mockumentary by a political attack ad agency

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Categories:Types, Reviews, Film
Published by: James "Chip" Northrup on Jun 15, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Chesapeake‟s rebuttal to Gasland
Truthland is a 30 minute mockumentary made by the gas industry as a rather belated rebuttal to Gasland. It will not open at a theatre near you any time soon. Nor appear on HBO. Nor be part of the Oscar buzz. Look for it on Comedy Central. Around 4 AM. It is Exhibit A on why the gas industry's credibility has become cheneyesque http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTJaaeiuzSU Truthland "narrator" Shelley DePue had leaking shale gas wells on her property before performing in this fracking infomercial. 2 years before she hit the road in search of the "truth about fracking". She knew more about how gas wells leak than the people she pretended to interview. http://www.marcellus-shale.us/Depue-Truthland.htm Her own leaking gas wells are not mentioned in the mockumentary. Strike 1. http://blog.littlesis.org/2012/06/13/fracking-industrysanswer-to-gasland-devised-by-astroturf-lobbying-groupand-political-ad-agency/ But this fracking mockumentary is about how gas wells don't leak, you know, the way cigarettes don't kill. http://blog.shaleshockmedia.org/2012/05/23/gas-wellsdont-leak-cigarettes-dont-kill/ The mockumentary was produced by a political attack ad agency. Strike 2 For the gas industry front group "Energy In Depth" Strike 3 It was paid for by Chesapeake, who owns the website "Truthlandmovie.com". Strike 4

When I think "truthful" I think "Chesapeake" Don't you ? It appears that Shelly DePue who is indeed a farmer from rural Pennsylvania, is not all that independent after all. LittleSis has all the details on how Truthland was (ill) conceived and made: “And despite her claim that environmental hazards are “unfounded” she experienced some on her own property. Unfortunately, the environmental and health concerns about fracking that Truthland’s protagonist, Shelly Depue, determined to be “unfounded” after her trip have become a reality on her own property. In March, after a DePue neighbor outside Montrose, PA reported sludgy water and an “erupting” water well that was also determined to have unusually high methane levels, the Scranton Times-Tribune investigated and found that Tulsa, OK-based drilling company WPX Energy had been cited for environmental violations on multiple nearby wells in 2011, including on the Depues’ property, which they had leased to WPX (then Williams Production Appalachia) in July 2010. The violations were for “defective casing or cement … meant to protect aquifers [which contain drinking water] from gas and other fluids.” So we have yet another anti-Gasland bit of fracking propaganda from the gas bags - just in time for Gasland II. The producers, Energy In Depth, are really into the truthiness business. http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Energy_in_D epth http://www.scribd.com/doc/78149419/Energy-in-DepthTom-Shepstone Energy in Depth even gives industry presentations on how to spin the media and make fracking mockumentaries. http://www.scribd.com/doc/78189224/Energy-in-DepthFrack-Talk

Including how to attack grass roots activists covertly http://truthout.org/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=7153:fr acking-and-psychological-operations-empire-comes-home For some reason these fracking shills seemed obsessed with Gasland - as if it were the new Silent Spring . . . So they try to rebut it with this fracking informercial chock full of truthy vignettes with truthy fracking apologists, truthy camp followers and truthy shale gas roulette winners: John Hanger, former Pa. DEP commissioner, now a Chesapeake lawyer ? Oversaw some of the worst environmental disasters from fracking in the US. Including the gassing of the narrator's neighbors (How she met the DEP ?) He seems a bit uncomfortable mouthing the usual regulatory platitudes. Since he may have known the narrator more intimately as "Well Failure Incidents #1845 1850" Still, he boldly repeats the Big Fracking Deception: "No instance of water pollution from fracking" And his high-fived by the narrator, "Ms. Well Failure Incidents # 1845 - 1850". When that is more than a bit of a white lie - as the narrator was aware when she posed the rhetorical question: http://blog.shaleshockmedia.org/2012/05/23/gas-wellsdont-leak-cigarettes-dont-kill/ He says that shale gas drilling is "cleaner" that oil well drilling - meaning a vertical oil well drilling on land ? Nope. Not so. The narrator implies she has not had shale wells put on her property - yet. When she had 10 - some of which had already leaked. Based on the location of her farm, in Susquehanna County, Pa. a dry gas well would not be economic at this time. But it would likely mobilize methane

that will migrate into her groundwater and her neighbor's groundwater. Which is what it in fact did - while the Truthland cameras were rolling elsewhere. http://www.scribd.com/doc/65577477/How-Gas-WellsLeak

Joe Martin – Drexel Prof. When asked what his worst fracking nightmare might be, this was his response: Martin: “My nightmare would be the spill of frack liquid when it’s being carried from a site to some sort of treatment. People do get in accidents, trains do derail, things like that. The nightmare is nightmares. Everything is fairly controlled at the site if we fix these contractual issues. The state has monitors. Maybe they don’t have enough, but the nightmare that I have is carrying a million gallons of frack water. When they finish an area to recycle it and it’s too salty to deal with, it’s being carried. Then we are dealing with a low-level variation of how do we move nuclear waste in Nevada.” Of course, Ms. DePue does not ask him that in Truthland. That was his response to the City of Philadelphia when he was on a panel reviewing the environmental impacts of fracking. http://fracktoids.blogspot.com/2012/07/more-fromtruthinessland.html "400 Trillion Cubic Feet" Terry Engelder - is the uber apologist geologist of the Marcellus shale. Who overstated Marcellus reserves by 5X. This lead to a gross overstatement of the Marcellus potential in New York - until corrected by the USGS http://www.scribd.com/doc/65070417/SGEISSocioeconomic-Hype-Voodoo-Frackonomics-2-0 http://www.scribd.com/doc/68519448/NY-Gas-ReserveEstimates

And facilitated the financial scamming of Chesapeake, etc. that overstated their reserves to hype their stock. Which provided the dough to fund fracking shills like "Energy in Depth" to make mockumentaries like Truthland, starring apologist geologists. Who got the Marcellus hype going. Such over-estimates of reserves are dependent on apologist geologists like Engelder, as Art Berman has explained. http://www.theoildrum.com/node/7075 Over-stating reserves to hype stock was outed by Deborah Rogers some time ago http://energypolicyforum.com/ He repeats another dodge - that there have been millions of fracks over 60 years. When those were predominately vertical wells - not horizontal shale gas wells Like the kind that had just gassed narrator Shelley's neighborhood big time. And horizontal shale gas wells are much more likely to cause environmental damage. Starting with the trucking involved . . . http://my.brainshark.com/Frack-Truck-Convoys-By-ChipNorthrup-142091865 Best bit of acting: Engelder mentions methane migration, and the narrator nods cryptically "unhuh". Meaning she will be able to flambe shrimp in her sink, while washing them. Engelder graciously counsels someone how to escape the shale gas war-zone: move to Maine. I get asked this too and I suggest Vermont - where fracking is banned. And he dances around the fact that shale gas wells vent methane into groundwater - like on Shelley's farm : http://blog.shaleshockmedia.org/2012/03/16/how-gaswells-release-methane-into-groundwater/

http://www.scribd.com/doc/76174462/Schlumberger-GasLeak-Study http://www.scribd.com/doc/76316348/Gas-Wellbore-Leaks http://www.scribd.com/doc/65704543/Casing-Leaks http://www.scribd.com/doc/78704484/Leaking-Gas-Wells http://www.scribd.com/doc/91221557/Contamination-ofAquifers-by-Gas-Wells All over the world - even upside down . . . http://blog.shaleshockmedia.org/2012/03/19/gas-wellsleak-even-upside-down-in-australia/

Gary Hanson - apologist geologist/ Chesapeake consultant (?) He refers to the frack studies on coal bed methane wells in the San Juan Basin. And again focuses on the least likely risk - fracks going out of zone. Instead of the more common problems – like what happened on the farm of the person he is talking to. He refers to thermogenic methane in the Duke methane study - but alleges that the methane was from coal mines. He appears to be referring to the Cabot "study" of methane in water in Susquehanna County - where the narrator's farm is located. Which "concluded" based on no post drilling water tests, that all the methane came up via faulting and fissures. Not burst casings like Ms. DePue‟s. http://www.scribd.com/doc/96519252/CabotGroundwater-Methane-Hoax

Ignoring the occasional exploding well casing - like the DePues had . . . Elvis Bowman - Fort Worth Minister - "I Had a Fracking Dream" 0f Hitting a Big Fracking Gas Well When you cut through the rhetoric, this reads as an anecdote of a landowner who hopes to win the shale gas lottery. He alludes to "a very helpful City Councilman" that helped facilitate their permit. Because they would need an SUP to get a permit to drill a gas well in the city limits. Like Anschutz would in their home town Denver - or, for that matter, Dryden, New York . . . Few if any of those dry gasBarnett Shale wells could be economic at the time TruthLand came out. But the good minister focuses on their financial windfall – which may or may not play out, with or without prayer. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/26/us/26gas.html?page wanted=all All of the issues he mentioned - zoning, noise ordinances. etc. are addressed in the Fort Worth zoning ordinances. Pennsylvania, where the narrator‟s farm is, allows no local controls over gas wells - no noise, no zoning, no nothing - frack anywhere. None of this was mentioned in the fracking mockumentary http://www.scribd.com/doc/63141534/New-York-Gas-WellZoning When talking to the reverend, the narrator keeps mum about the problems she's had with similar wells back home. Cuz she's on a mission of truthiness-seeking. Not truth telling. Michael Webber Much ado about how much water there is to be trashed by fracking.

Nothing about what happens to the water: it is contaminated if it comes back, if it does not come back, it's lost. There is no safe and economic way to deal with the flowback in New York state. Not road spreading, not dumping into municipal water treatment plants. http://www.scribd.com/doc/65435029/SGEIS-FrackingFlowback

Chuck Sylvester - shale game roulette winner If thermogenic gas is already in local water wells - then shale gas wells will likely mobilize more methane into wells. They are quite good at that - as the industry knows and Ms. DePue can vouch for personally - but cautiously demurs. http://www.scribd.com/doc/80574646/Well-Failures Wanders a bit - antelope getting hit on the highway by people fleeing California ? Then goes on to praise Cheney - who turned Halliburton into a no-bid defense contractor in Iraq. And fracked the EPA out of regulating gas well. An icon of truthiness. Scott Roberts - yet another ex DEP regulator / fracking shill, because Pa. like New York, is one of the few states that has no autonomous environmental oversight over shale gas.1 When he was with the DEP, this is what he had to say about the process of fracking a shale well: Roberts: “During the hydraulic fracturing, it’s a high-pressure operation. A hose will burst, the materials will be sprayed out

and spilled, or after the water flows back from the well, there’s materials handling problems. And those are unacceptable.”2 Demos how multiple layers of casing "protect groundwater" As if that is not a problem -when such a casing failure is exactly what went wrong on the narrator's property. She nods knowingly during the demonstration - having witnessed such failures first hand . . . in her backyard. No matter - all of that cement will eventually crack and mobilize gas and other pollutants up the aging wellbore. Into water wells, trout streams, rivers and ponds - first the gas, then the lighter-than-water fluids - right up the water in the hole. Just like it did on the narrator's property and her neighbors property - and anyone else downstream http://www.scribd.com/doc/65704543/Casing-Leaks Even before the wells are abandoned http://www.scribd.com/doc/77582900/Orphaned-NY-Oiland-Gas-Wells Walter Brooks - shale game roulette player "Gas Saved Our Ass" bumper sticker sums up Mr. Brooks's true views on the more pressing regulatory and environmental issues of the day. Gas gassed Ms. DePue‟s neighbor‟s ass – they sued when their wells were contaminated by drilling. Which concludes our intrepid adventurer's quest for fracking truthiness. As some kind swift boat wannabe on Gasland I. Virtually guaranteeing that "Truthland" will be featured - for a laugh - in Gasland II. And that's the truth. Chip Northrup


Cooperstown http://www.scribd.com/northrup49

Fracking Industry’s Answer to “Gasland”: Devised by Astroturf Lobbying Group and Political Ad Agency By Ben • Jun 13, 2012 at 16:02 EST

Strategic Perception LLC's Fred Davis, political attack ad man and producer of Truthland Truthland, a 35-minute compilation of interviews with fracking proponents, is being promoted by the oil and natural gas industry‟s PR arm, Energy In Depth, as an answer to the 2010 anti-fracking film Gasland. The advertising campaign for Truthland emphasizes that it documents the concerns of “a Susquehanna County mom,

dairy farmer and teacher” who is “the real deal,” as opposed to Josh Fox, the writer and director ofGasland and “a spoiled avant-garde showman from New York City,” in the words of EID‟s Northeast Marcellus campaign director, Tom Shepstone. While the new film‟s protagonist, Shelly DePue, is indeed a farmer from rural Pennsylvania, the notion that Truthland is a depiction of her independently-planned road trip around the United States to “find out just what the truth was” became less and less believable the more we examined it. Rather, the film and its “full-scale website and social media campaign” was planned from start to finish by the natural gas industry. Even its web domain, truthlandmovie.com, was registered by industry giant Chesapeake Energy:

(Apparently, this instance of funding transparency was not intentional – on June 12, the Whois listing for the Truthland domain was updated to remove “Chesapeake Energy Corporation” and replace it with “MFL Holdings, ATTN TRUTHLANDMOVIE.COM, care of Network Solutions.” Our cached version of the Chesapeake registration, above, is from June 8.) The origin of Truthland as an industry PR campaign is confirmed by EID spokesman Chris Tucker‟s presentation to a meeting of West Virginia oil and natural gas industry representatives in May. EID operates as an “astroturf” organization that keeps its substantial gas industry backing and orchestration hidden behind the names and faces of “locals” and “natives,” but in this case, they failed to sufficiently hide the degree to which its “authentic” Gasland response was planned at the highest level. The EID planning document also reveals that Truthland was produced by Fred Davis, a prominent political ad maker who has filmed TV spots for George W. Bush and John McCain and was the leading strategist behind an inflammatory advertising campaign (“The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama”) prepared for the 2012 general election that attracted so much negative attention that Mitt Romney publicly distanced himself from its makers.

After first appearing on YouTube in the first week of June, Truthland was quickly withdrawn from the website when it began to pick up hits, alarming supportive viewers.On a natural gas-leasing web forum, a member claiming to represent the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York wrote that the film‟s unveiling was the responsibility of “Susan Oliver a „communications consultant‟ who lives in DC but has acreage in Bainbridge [in Chenango County, NY].” Like many professionals working for the natural gas industry, Oliver tries to keep her work in the PR industry (“Persuasive media relations pro intensely committed to victory”) hidden when it‟s more useful to appear to be simply a “NY Marcellus Shale landowner”:

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