Wednesday, November 5, 2014
When filmmaker Phelim McAleer approached the victims of water contamination in Dimock, Pennsylania to get interviews for his pro-gas drilling film "FrackNation," he told them he was an Irish anti-fracking filmmaker working to keep fracking out of Ireland. The lie was a success and he got interviews with two victims, Craig Sautner and Victoria Switzer. He interviewed both for hours.
Soon after, Craig and Victoria realized they'd been had and news of the misrepresentation spread around the neighborhood. When Mr. McAleer showed up at Ray Kemble's house, another victim in the Dimock contamination, he tried to use the same line. He didn't even make it to the front door. Ray met him on the sidewalk and told him off. Ray doesn't take lies well.
For his film, McAleer cut Craig Sautner's two-hour interview down to a few minutes that made Craig look like a liar. He included none of Victoria's interview, though her story was so intense it made one person in the room weep. McAleer would later taunt Victoria Switzer at a public engagement, yelling "Victoria, Victoria, why don't you give me an interview?" That's how McAleer makes a living: taunting, attacking and harassing water contamination victims and people who support them.
The scenes in "FrackNation" of Julie Sautner were edited in the same way to achieve the same effect. In reality, McAleer had a confrontation with Julie Sautner that lasted over an hour. Julie had to call neighbors and friends for help, one of whom came and witnessed much of it. McAleer was in Julie's driveway when she got home, threatening to take her water without her permission. Julie also knew he'd defrauded her husband Craig, and was going to use the film to make him look like a liar. Most people would have been upset. That's all lost in the few minutes of film McAleer chooses to include in "FrackNation". McAleer chooses to show the content that fits his narrative: Craig and Julie Sautner and the rest of the victims in Dimock, around the nation and world are frauds. They're not.
When Phelim McAleer went to Dimock to interview victims, he wasn't actually a journalist searching for the fracking truth. He was executing a plan to cover up the real water contamination case in Dimock, make the victims look like frauds, and make it look like there was always methane in their water. If McAleer had gone to Dimock to do honest research, he would have found that the water contamination victims in Dimock have pre-drill testing showing that there was no methane in their water before nearby gas drilling started.
McAleeer didn't include pre-drill testing, or the DEP Consent Orders against Cabot, which admits to contaminating water wells in Dimock, including Craig Suatner's. He doesn't include the EPA Order in Parker county when he paints Steve Lipsky as a liar, or TCEQ's review of private testing in Dish Texas when he paints Calvin Tillman as a liar. He doesn't include the actual scientific studies and findings these moratoriums are based on when he paints Josh Fox and the film Gasland as frauds and the only reason there are drilling moratoriums anywhere.
Instead of the fracking truth, what McAleer has produced is, in fact, an elaborate hoax.
A hoax created to intentionally fool the public.
There are a few claims that are true in the film. New York State is not allowing fracking, and landowners there are angry. That's true. And there is a nine-mile drilling and fracking moratorium in Dimock. That's also true. But none of the reasons why these moratoriums exist are covered accurately in the film. FrackNation's claims about the amount of shale in the US are at least close. The rest of the film is a hoax. A fakery. A con.
That may seem an incredible claim, considering the film's audience. Since it's release in January of 2013, it's played in European Parliament in Brussels and the UK Parliament in London, it was shown to the US Science, Space, and Technology, Congressional Subcommittee on Environment. It's been covered by news programs, shown in film festivals and to countless college students, Tea Party groups and gas industry supporters across the nation and the world. They all got punked.
FrackNation Review examines "FrackNation" point by point and works to set the record straight about the water contamination events in Parker County Texas, Dimock Pennsylvania and the air contamination in Dish, Texas. McAleer's hoax on the nation and the world must be addressed.