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FrackNation (2013)

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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 581 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 28 user | 10 critic | 4 from Metacritic.com

Journalist Phelim McAleer faces bogus lawsuits, gun threats and intimidation questioning environmentalists and anti-fracking activists in his search for the truth.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Bruce Ames ...
Himself
Karl Canfield ...
Himself - Dimock, Pennsylvania, Dairy Farmer
Terry Engelder ...
Himself
...
Himself
Bill Graby ...
Himself
Ernest Majer ...
Himself
...
Himself - Host
Karen Radwanski ...
Herself - Resident, Dimock, Pennsylvania
...
Himself (archive footage)
Craig Sautner ...
Himself - Resident, Dimmock, Pennsylvania
Marian Schweighofer ...
Herself - Dairy Farmer
Carl Shaffer ...
Himself
Bryan Swistock ...
Himself
Mike Uretsky ...
Himself
Ron White ...
Himself - Dairy Farmer
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Storyline

FrackNation follows journalist Phelim McAleer as he faces gun threats, malicious 911 calls and bogus lawsuits when questioning green extremists for the truth about fracking. Fracking is going to make America one of the world's leading energy producers and has become the target of a concerted campaign by environmentalists who want it banned. In FrackNation McAleer travels across the USA and Europe to uncover the science suppressed by environmental activists and ignored by much of the media. He talks with scientists and ordinary Americans who live in fracking areas and who tell him the truth behind the exaggerations and misrepresentations of anti-fracking activists. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, a disturbing image, language and smoking
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Details

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Release Date:

7 January 2013 (USA)  »

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Budget:

$150,000 (estimated)
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User Reviews

 
These filmmakers are notorious anti-environmentalists
31 August 2013 | by (CA) – See all my reviews

Read about the filmmakers' political history before accepting this pseudo-documentary at face value. "Not Evil, Just Wrong" (2009) gives climate science the same general treatment, and "Mine Your Own Business" (2006) downplays the risks of mining and chemical effluent.

FrackNation continues the same right-wing theme of "Man can do no harm to nature," often based on Creationist ideology and a willfully weak understanding of science. The glowing IMDb reviews for this propaganda piece make me suspect shills were sent to bump up its ratings.

Some of the biggest flaws in this film are: A) the claim that fracking of this type has been around for many decades, ignoring the much newer addition of horizontal drilling and mystery chemicals, B) the notion that cement well casings will always be poured perfectly and maintain their integrity indefinitely (casing failures can exceed 6% early on), C) the lies about methane never being disturbed by fracking, as if it must already exist in the water table beforehand, D) the dismissal of physical impacts on the land and airborne fumes from wellheads, E) trivialization of massive water usage, with billions of gallons PERMANENTLY LOST from the fresh water supply via injection wells which are also prone to toxic leaks and sinkhole formation, plus poorly treated wastewater that ends up in ponds and rivers.

The general tone of this pseudo-documentary is to sneer at environmentalism via the appeal of "heartland" folk who are often poorly educated science-deniers. Being "down to earth" doesn't make one a fracking expert, and money buys opinions when one's land becomes valuable. This film seems to have been made largely as an attack on "Gasland" (a partly biased film) but this one contains far more slick propaganda, for example never quite admitting that fracking DID contaminate water in Dimock PA and other towns. The sheer number of gas wells in progress assures more contamination via statistical odds.

Fracking may not be 100% bad, but I'd rather err on the side of known risks than pretend it causes no harm. People who claim this film is "balanced" are being very devious.

Look up search terms like "methane migration" and "wastewater disposal" in conjunction with fracking. Claiming that it's a benign process is akin to government assurances about "safe" radioactive fallout from old nuclear tests (note that fracking wells can also bring up radioactivity from deep in the earth). Concerns about fracking must not be marginalized for the sake of money and continued energy gluttony.


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