FrackNation Point by Point

"FrackNation" sets out to ridicule victims and critics of fracking, claiming they have no evidence or science to back up their claims. Mr. McAleer repeats these attacks in frequent addresses to conservative audiences, often presented in the form of snide applause lines, while ignoring an overwhelming and increasing body of evidence that what he is saying is either factually wrong or tortured distortions of what happened. Here we go through the film sequentially and point out errors and deliberate distortions, along with links illustrating our points. Quotes from the film are in red.


The opening sequence of "FrackNation" lists a series of assertions by fracking critics. The film goes on to supposedly debunk all these valid claims. McAleer presents himself as the "hard-hitting journalist" willing to ask the "hard questions" environmentalists are unwilling consider because it conflicts with their elitist, America-hating ideology.

“[Fracking has] been implicated with water contamination, air pollution, health effects.”
"FrackNation" parrots the oil and gas industry claim that there has never been a single case of water or air contamination. Dozens of independent studies and reports from regulatory agencies refute this assertion. The CHPNY Fracking Compendium contains an especially comprehensive list of studies documenting the health effects associated with fracking operations, along with numerous academic and regulatory studies documenting cases of air and water contamination.

“The process may trigger earthquakes”
In fact, small earthquakes are a well documented, though certainly not the most important problem with fracking.

“You put a match to your water and it lights on fire?”
Making fun of people lighting their water on fire, like the families documented by Josh Fox in "Gasland" and "Gasland 2," is a mainstay of both "FrackNation" and McAleer's frequent talks to conservative audiences. McAleer claims that in all these cases people have fraudulently put the gas in the water or that the gas is naturally occurring. There is overwhelming evidence that these claims are factually wrong. Numerous academic studies have found methane contamination of drinking water related to fracking operations.(To be clear here, we use fracking to refer to the entire process of drilling wells, fracking and well completion.)

There are now hundreds of people from many different states on record with complaints about methane contamination of their water related to fracking operations. There are thousands more who cannot speak because of non-disclosure agreements--the infamous gag orders used by industry to silence victims in exchange for small amounts of restitution. McAleer's claims require us to believe that all these people are lying or trying to scam money out of the oil industry.

A 60 Minutes special investigates problems with fracking and interviews victims in Dimock, PA with methane contamination (11 minutes into the clip). "FrackNation" goes after Dimock victims Craig and Julie Sautner with attack journalism tactics designed to provoke them into saying something he can use against them, then cherry picking clips to make them look like kooks. He ignores the testimony of other victims, along with the consent order reached with Cabot, which acknowledges the contamination and closes down fracking operations until methane levels come into compliance with state regulations.


“Here we are at the Copenhagen Climate Conference”
McAleer dressed up as a polar bear for the Copenhagen Climate Conference in 2009. Armed with a bullhorn, he harangued startled participants about the East Anglia Emails, a thoroughly discredited "scandal" that climate deniers still use to claim that global warming is a hoax. McAleer's real goal was to promote his film "Not Evil Just Wrong," which paints Al Gore as a lair and a fraud. This is one of the first instances of maligning Al Gore, a common tactic used by climate change and fracking deniers to substitute personal attacks for a discussion of the issues.

“investigative journalist”
Central to McAleer's films is his presentation of himself as a hard-hitting investigative journalist willing to ask the "hard questions." In reality, McAleer is a content provider for a right-wing industry and media machine hungry for pseudo-science and pseudo-journalism promoting their agendas. His first major film was "Mine Your Own Business,” a film paid for by a mining company that hoped to bulldoze a village in Romania to put in a gold mine. The promo for the film introduces a common McAleer theme: environmentalists are hypocritical elitists who want to keep poor and indigenous people living in third world poverty.

In fact, Greenpeace was invited in by local villagers who were worried about the effects of the "environmentally friendly" mine on their homes and way of life. According to Wikipedia, “Up to 250 million tonnes of cyanide-laced tailings will be stored in a 363ha pond in the Corna Valley behind a 185m-high dam.” The project was also opposed by the Romanian Catholic Church, the Romania Academy and the Romanian Unitarian Church. McAleer's accusation that Greenpeace activists are meddling outsiders sounds hollow considering that he is a hired gun coming in from the outside to work for the extraction industry.

“Not Evil Just Wrong” was McAleer’s second major film,created to cast doubt on the science of climate change. The film recycles standard climate denier talking points and plays to right-wing populists by painting Al Gore as an elitist fraud. The pseudo-science in McAleer's film has long since been discredited. The film is noteworthy because it develops McAleer's portrayal of himself as a defender of the common man against environmental elitists attacking the livelihoods of poor and middle class people. This is nonsense. Developing the technology and building the infrastructure of a modern, zero-carbon energy system will create far more jobs than the boom-and-bust fracking jobs and bait-and-switch royalties offered by the oil industry.

1:42"It's absolutely huge"
McAleer presents a graph showing US shale gas production expanding to 13 trillion cubic feet annually by 2034. This is the first hint that shale gas is not a "bridge to renewable energy" but an end in itself.

2:00 News clip of Robert Bryce extolling the virtues of unlocking "huge quantities of hydrocarbons … to billions of people."
This is the real long-term goal of the oil industry and free-lance propagandists like McAleer and his wife. More information about the success of the oil industry at making these projections seem inevitable can be found in the Energy Information Administration's projections of future energy use. See our website

2:15 “Fracking is controversial, mostly because of this man.”
"FrackNation" deploys a standard tobacco-war tactic: find a bogeyman to attack in order to divert attention from the facts of the case. McAleer repeatedly pins fracking bans on Josh Fox and his film "Gasland." While "Gasland" did bring attention to water and air contamination associated gas drilling and fracking, it is not the reason for any fracking ban anywhere. Shoddy drilling practices (and growing scientific evidence), along with cases and complaints brought by victims, caused the moratoriums in Dimock and in New York State.

2:30 “Because of these claims fracking has been banned in many places: from Pennsylvania and New York to France and Bulgaria.”
These countries certainly didn't ban fracking because of two documentaries from an American filmmaker.

2:38 “It took me only five minutes on the Internet to find out that the claim of flammable water was very questionable.”
For someone who repeatedly claims to do the hard-hitting research necessary to uncover the truth, five minutes on the Internet doesn't seem like much of an investment. After more than a year litigating, a phalanx of lawyers working for Cabot Oil & Gas couldn't disprove the contamination case brought by eleven litigants in Dimock, PA. Among these were Craig and Julie Sautner, the target of some of the most stomach-wrenching of the character assassination in "FrackNation." Cabot was forced to settle in a class action lawsuit (very rare) brought by water contamination victims in Dimock.
3:45 "You have said yourself that people lit their water on fire long before fracking started."
The idea that water has always lit on fire because of methane is a central industry talking point--as well as the basis for much of the industry's legal defense. As Fox points out, naturally occuring cases of methane in the water are irrelevant to drilling-related methane migration and contamination. Hundreds of victims have stated that their water was fine, often for decades or generations, before drilling. In Dimock, victims had pre-drill tests showing no hydrocarbons, which makes the “methane was always there” argument moot. McAleer's claim requires us to believe that all these people are lying and that it is just coincidence that naturally occuring methane appeared in their water immediately after fracking operations started near their homes.

As in much of "FrackNation" the full exchange between Fox and McAleer is selectively cut to frame Fox as a fraud. Fox is perfectly correct: the levels of methane these victims had in their water were not the low levels which do occur in parts of the country. These were high levels, and other chemicals were also found.

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection has documented 243 cases of drilling-related contamination in the past six years.

New testing technologies are tying water contamination directly to the deeply buried thermogenic methane produced by fracking, instead of the shallower biogenic methane that occurs naturally in some wells.
3:50 “People who watch your film believe that lighting your water on fire started with fracking.”
The logical error is obvious. Some water has naturally occuring methane; therefore, fracking can't pollute drinking water. Some people get lung cancer from natural causes; therefore, smoking can't cause lung cancer.

Phelim McAleer's billboard

The contamination victims seen in "Gasland" didn't have methane in their water before nearby gas drilling and fracking. That's the point of their complaints. Dimock victims, including Craig and Julie Sautner, had pre-drill testing showing no hydro-carbons in their water. McAleer pushes the industry narrative that all victims are liars because the methane always was in their water. He's even taken out billboards saying the methane was always there.
4:30 McAleer pushes the “Josh Fox is a fraud” narrative – "what is he trying to hide."
Fox isn't trying to hide anything. Four years ago he published a 40-page, 8-author debunking of the oil industry talking points McAleer uses to make his film. Industry and their PR machine have yet to reply to the facts and evidence presented there.

McAleer claims the funding for his film came from small donations from ordinary people who just wanted to hear the truth. While Kickstarter is public funding, the film was heavily promoted by industry to their base of industry executives, workers and landowners with leases, or hoping to make money off of leases.

As DeSmogBlog points out, “[T]he roster of “executive producers” who have donated at least $1 includes scores of energy industry associates. The filmmakers said ... they plan to return any donations given by 'senior' workers in the industry, which they define as executives."

5:40 McAleer talks about flaming faucets in Dimock while showing a clip of a Colorado contamination victim. 
6:50 Sautner interview

When McAleer approached Dimock victims Craig and Julie Sautner, Victoria Switzer and Ray Kemble for an interview, he said he was an anti-fracking Irish filmmaker trying to keep fracking out of Ireland. He selectively cut his interview with Craig to make him look like a fraud. He did not use any of the two-hour interview he had withvVictoria Switzer. By the time McAleer got to Ray’s, people in the neighborhood had figured out what he was up to. Ray, who doesn't like liars, ordered him off his property.

“3 kinds of uranium, two of them weapons grade”
McAleer uses this claim to ridicule the Sautners in the movie and his frequent talks to conservative audiences. Many of the victims around Carter Road had heard of these from test results, and there are, in fact, test results showing traces of four different isotopes of uranium in the water.

Contamination victims are ordinary people doing the best they can with the information they are not trained to understand. I interviewed Craig Sautner about this, he remembers more than one of the many technicians who tested their water telling him there was weapons grade uranium in the water. Radioactive contamination of frack fluid flowback is a serious problem, since regular water treatment does not remove it.

7:20 “The state agency ordered Cabot to stop drilling new wells and deliver fresh water to affected residents”

7:21 “DEP introduced a ban until they could study the matter further.”
DEP’s 9-mile moratorium in Dimock is not the fault of water contamination victims. DEP clearly finds Cabot's shoddy drilling practices directly responsible for the contamination. The moratorium will be removed when methane levels in the water return to acceptable levels. As of October 2014, they have not.

7:45 McAleer: “But they polluted the water, they contaminated the water.”
Answer from Dimock neighbors: No. Allegedly.

When the mass contamination happened on Carter Road, an opposition group formed with a little help from industry. It may seem strange that people would oppose their neighbors who have been victims of an industrial accident. You generally think of communities banding together to help. Instead this area joined with industry to call the contamination victims frauds. This is a great example of how the oil industry uses money to divide communities and play winners and losers off against each other.

The next scene is of McAleer and an unnamed man driving up to the Sautner's house. I believe the man is Lauren Salzman, who appears elsewhere in the film.

7:46 Man: “The next residence here is Craig and Julie Sautner’s who have all kinds of claims of chemical contamination in their well, but they never have shown any lab data to verify it, they just claim it. Meanwhile every well around them is active and online.”
Notice the claim is “chemical contamination." Methane, one of the principal contaminants in all wells in the area, is not mentioned. Gas-industry-related chemicals were found in water wells around Carter Road. As they did with all other testing, Cabot attacked the test results. There is, in fact, both independent tests and DEP lab data confirming contamination.

The claim that "every well around them is active and online" is patently false. The Sautners lived just across from Norma Fiorentino, whose well blew up on News Years Day 2009. Their next door neighbor was part of the contamination litigation and Cabot ordered all victims to lock off their wells. In fact, Cabot came themselves with locks and installed them so that victims could not get water testing without the company's consent.

Cabot also got a court order allowing them to drill holes in victims property to try and prove the chemicals in their water came from their own property. Cabot held invasive home inspections where they went over every inch of people house in an attempt to prove the contamination was from household products or materials already in the houses. These attempts were unsuccessful.

I have been asking Mr McAleer for an interview, or to answer a few questions, for nearly a year now--with no reply. The only reason for including this hearsay claim is to make the Sautners look like frauds.

8:06 “I began to believe that Craig Sautner's claims about contaminants, including weapons grade uranium, were greatly exaggerated or maybe even false.”
Making fun of the weapons grade uranium comment is one of McAleer's most reliable applause lines when addressing conservative audiences. It also brings out his nasty side. The Sautners are country people trying to deal with contamination that has hurt them immeasurably. McAleer loves to hold them up for ridicule in appearances around the world. He makes no attempt to understand their story or explore the science behind the claim.

Unfortunately, being snide is not science. Studies show uranium and radium in frack fluid flowback flushed out from deep underground during well completion. Naturally occuring uranium is especially prevalent in the Marcellus shale, and standard water treatment does little to remove these dangerous compounds.

9:52 "It’s not due to the drilling."
McAleer shows a women with natural methane in her well. “We still use it, no problem,” she says.
This woman was not part of a mass contamination case. Like most wells with natural methane in the water, the levels of methane in her well are likely very low. Showing her case here is at best deceptive.

10:45 "to solve a problem they knew did not exist"
McAleer goes out of his way to make water contamination victims look like lairs and frauds. This is part of a larger campaign to brand anyone who stands up to the oil companies as either dishonest or nuts. When you start to look at the sheer numbers of victims, this becomes more and more implausible.

11:00 “It made us angry.”
Although the cost of the pipeline would have ultimately been born by Cabot, and the pipeline would have permanently solved the contamination issue, locals opposed it. McAleer deliberately aligns himself as a proponent of this vindictive political strategy--again following the basic psy-ops trick of setting neighbors against one another.

11:19 “Look this is ridiculous, we’ve had enough already.”
Is it ridiculous that people who are victims of an industrial accident that polluted their water should get restitution? Industry supporters thought so.

11:44 "Didn't like being trashed all the time"
McAleer shows a photo of an early “Enough Already” protest. In the background is Tom Shepstone from the industry propaganda machine Energy In Depth.

The gas and Oil Industry uses Psy-ops tactics to divide communities where they operate - pitting neighbor against neighbor. That's why Energy In Depth - industry's propagand arm was at this early protest - a protest to make sure water contamination victims were painted as frauds and denied restitution.

12:12 “The voices of the ordinary people in Dimock who were saying their water is fine were not being heard.”
No one has ever claimed that all water in Dimock was contaminated. Of course most people’s water was fine.

12:46 Loren Salzman “The Dimock community loves Cabot. Eleven litigants and few other stray oddballs in there that are fighting them.”
Stray oddballs and water contamination victims may be the same thing for Mr Salzman, but in my own visits to the area I found ordinary people trying to cope with both contamination and an industry-funded campaign to discredit and marginalize them.

13:00 “Water line stopped was a big win.”
McAleer is clear that he supports the effort to make sure people have no clean water for their families after an industrial accident. It is difficult to see how this makes him a hero for the common man.

13:26 Brian Switstock Penn state: “Impact of Marcellus gas drilling on rural drinking water supplies”
The study also states:The research found that bromide levels in some water wells increased after drilling and/or fracking. These increases may suggest more subtle impacts to groundwater and the need for more research. Bromide increases appeared to be mostly related to the drilling process. A small number of water wells also appeared to be affected by disturbances due to drilling as evidenced by sediment and/or metals increases that were noticeable to the water supply owner and confirmed by water testing results. Increased bromide concentrations in water wells along with sporadic sediment and metals increases were observed within 3,000 feet of Marcellus gas well sites in this study. These results suggest that a 3,000 foot distance between the location of gas wells and nearby private water wells is a more reasonable distance for both presumed responsibility and certified mail notification related to Marcellus gas well drilling than the 1,000 feet that is currently required.”

15:30 McAleer goes back to the “methane was always there” industry talking point, including vintage footage.

16:00 "UHHF makes fewer holes."

While there may be fewer surface holes, wells are now up to five miles long and pumped full of chemical-laced water at 8,000 PSI. Well casing failures are increasing rather than decreasing, and surface spills are a ubiquitous problem. Despite much evidence to the contrary, industry continues to claim that modern slickwater horizontal fracking is more environmentally friendly than conventional wells.

17:32 “This is not new technology. Fracking has been going on continuously here since it’s inception 60 years ago.”
Another popular, oft repeated Industry myth. Unconventional, slickwater horizontal fracking has only been in use since the early 2000s. Large-scale use of the technology is only six or seven years old. Science to study the health effects and environmental impact is struggling to catch up with actual use of the technology.

17:00 “The equipment's the same, the pumps are the same, the(imperceptible) are the same, the standards are the same. Whats different is we are fracking in shale.”
The length of the wells, the shape of the wells, and the amount of water, acid and other chemicals are not the same. Though industry constantly claims it’s been at this since 1948, in reality this is not your grandmother’s fracking.

18:00 "We've moved 22 times"
Using the story that workers lose their jobs if fracking is banned is also a very popular narrative. In fact, if these workers were employed in sustainable, green energy, they could make similar wages, but without the cost of carbon pollution, destroyed roads, and industrialized landscapes, which are externalized onto the public.

We are not too stupid or too poor to figure out how to get off fossil fuels. The technical challenges could be overcome if we put real resources into the problem. The International Energy Agency estimates the world will spend $48 trillion dollars on energy investments before 2035. Only a tiny fraction of that is going to research and development for renewables. The only reason we can't get off fossil fuels is that the oil and gas industry has poured enormous resources into convincing us that we can't. We've been punked.

18:30 “It’s a ludicrous claim that we would come in here and pollute drinking water.”
It is a fact that hundreds of drilling-related contamination cases have occurred. The oil industry has poured enormous resources into covering up contamination and convincing people that there has never been a case of contamination related to fracking.

18:54 “Environmentalists say that the 2005 energy bill removed all regulation from fracking ... but that wasn’t true.”
“Oil and Gas always has been heavily regulated by individual states.”

Industry likes to claim that the 2005 Energy Bill exemptions had no effect on gas and oil regulation and that the exemptions it provided do not exist. That is patently false. Without exemptions to accepted regulations protecting air and water, it’s likely the fracking boom would not have been possible.

20:15 “The 2005 bill didn’t create any loopholes, it just left regulation to the states.”
This is just spin. It created exemptions at the federal level that the states have been unable or unwilling to cover. State legislatures and regulators are much more vulnerable to the political and financial pressure the oil industry can bring to bear.

22:48 Delaware River basin … landowners who can’t drill
This is true. There is a fracking moratorium in New York State. Since large corporations have contributed to the failure of family farms, will serving the gas and oil industry as they work to install a methane infrastructure solve this problem? A real sustainable green revolution would also bring relief to these farmers without the environmental issues. Would drilling 100,000 horizontal wells across New York really be the best thing for farmers? But the quick cash is certainly appealing.

29:11"If they come to frack the Delaware River Basin, we are going to shut them down"
If activists really could ban fracking - we would have no fracking in the US. McAleer again blames Josh Fox for fracking bans. Framing Josh Fox as the culprit behind moratoriums against fracking is not accurate or helpful.

20:50 Carol Collier
Instead of asking about issue of impacts from fracking, McAleer attacks her on a small political point. Once again: shoot the messenger, skip the issues.
Carol Collier

People get uncomfortable when you confront them on camera, especially ordinary people. McAleer says his film is the truth about fracking, but he spends his time bashing people instead of talking about fracking. Hard to watch.

33:04 The “Josh lied about his lease” myth.

35:20 John Entine: “NYT has adopted the entertainment style of Josh Fox.”
This is a popular conservative meme, but completely untrue. Entine is talking about Ian Urbina’s excellent series of articles on fracking in the New York Times. According to Entine, the Public Editor dressed down staff in two consecutive issues. In fact, the dates are July 17 2011 and July 31, 2011.

36:44 "unprecedented, never been done in the history of the New York Times ... dressing down his own paper's coverage as biased, getting key facts wrong and should have gotten key reporters fired and the coverage was 'unethical.'"
Entine gets this entirely wrong. The Public Editor offers some criticism of sourcing and comments on the much larger practice of redacting emails to protect sources. He never says the coverage was unethical or the reporters should be fired. Most of the criticism appears to be fed to him my oil industry sources.

Brisbane's comments were thoroughly refuted by both Urbina and his editor and the paper has stood strongly behind the coverage. Urbina and his editor are especially careful to refute the bias argument, and the online research has become an invaluable resource for both academic and government inquiries into fracking--where publicly available data is scarce.
Original story:

First Public editor reply:

Second Public Editor reply:

NYT Editorial staff reply:

The coverage was the opposite of unethical; it was excellent.

“Shale gas is a gift from God.”
This fits with the rest of the interview.

James Delingpole

38:10 “Shale gas is a miracle.”
More religious imagery.

39:00 “Only reason shale gas not developing is disingenuous objections ... funded by the Russians.”
This is kooky, talk-radio conspiracy theory, yet McAleer spends more than three minutes on Putin.

McAleer likes to show the poor, then blame their poverty on environmentalists. He’s made a brand of it. Old Polish lady illustrates the sorrow of the poor: cut to Josh Fox.

46:00 Baldwin Hills: “It’s clean like you’re close to heaven.”
Fabulous. Look at LA in the background. Does that look like heavenly clean air? Come on.The Baldwin Hills are fracking related issues are also real:
46:42 Calvin Tillman DISH Texas
Josh Fox featured Calvin Tillman and DISH in his film Gasland about fracking victims and their fights to get help. His description of the events and facts in DISH are far more accurate than Phelim's.

Gasland's claims about DISH on page 23 of Affirming Gasland.

47:04 "people in the town began to experience strong odors"
This is a news story covering the air contamination event that happened in DISH Texas when Calvin Tillman was mayor. Starting around 2006, the tiny town of DISH Texas became a hub for natural-gas-related compressor and dehydration stations, pipelines, release valves and gas wells. By 2007 long, frequent and high decibel gas releases and odorous emissions were making it hard for many residents, including the mayor, to live there. The mayor, backed by angry citizens worked to get help. He contacted government, industry and media, but didn't get very far. So the town had a private air study done. It found many toxins over TCEQ limits, including benzene:

A TCEQ review of that study found that "several monitored and potential 1-hour maximum concentrations of target compounds and tentatively identified compounds (TICs) could have resulted in odorous conditions. Persistent or recurrent exposure to levels which significantly exceed the odor threshold may cause odor-related effects such as headache and nausea. This is consistent with citizen reports of odors in the area."

After a few years of fighting, industry in the area finally made a few simple changes and the air in DISH got somewhat better. A permanent air monitor was installed in DISH. and the release valves were moved into someone else's backyard.

47:15 "Kids wake up w/ nosebleeds."
Calvin Tillman's children were suffering nose bleeds. But only at night. A recent study shows levels of air contamination can be worse overnight.
47:40 But were these claims true?
Phelim simply uses TCEQ testing that backs his case and leaves out any testing that found levels above health standards. The testing took place after release vales were moved from DISH. We contacted TCEQ to ask Bryan Shaw if he talked about Wolf Eagle's test results and TCEQ's review that affirmed those findings? Did Phelim choose to leave them out or did Mr. Shaw fail to mention them? TCEQ refused to comment. We made the video we sent them public:

Brian Shaw chairman TCEQ: "None exceeded short term levels that would be of concern."
Private and public testing showed carcinogens and neurotoxins over TCEQ health standards for long and short term limits. The results Shaw is referring to were taken after industry started taking basic precautions to limit emissions. TCEQ reviewed Alisa Rich's air study and did not find that the results were fraudulent:

TCEQ's own testing found similar contamination levels:

48:16 "TCEQ is comforting to see that our regulations are protective..."
Only after of years of complaints and repeated media attention, did Dish get the help it needed.

Here is Gasland's full coverage of the troubles in Dish and Calvin Tillman's work to address them:

48:30 "But Some people still claim that fracking contaminated their water and made them sick"
Natural gas and oil activity related to the fracking boom has contaminated water and air across the nation.
48:38 "Like Steven Lipsky of Parker County Texas. He sued Range Resources for $6.5 million dollars"
Steve Lipsky sued Range Resources for contaminating his water well after the EPA did isotopic testing that matched the fingerprint of the gas in Steve's well with the production gas from a nearby Range Resources gas well:

Steve's water well became dangerously contaminated in 2010 after the family had been using it for years with no incident. The Fire Marshall and Texas state government told him to turn it off and stop using it. It looks like this today:

48:43 "He teamed up with Alisa Rich ... to produce a video of flaming water and a set of test results supporting his case against the gas company."
This is Range Resources accusation from their ongoing case against Steve, his wife and Alisa Rich. The EPA found the nearby gas well to be the cause of Steve's contamination, and issued an unprecedented Emergency Order against Range:!OpenDocument

The findings in the Emergency Order were backed up the EPA's Office of Inspector General, which found that the EPA's field office had acted properly and the test results were accurate:

Range Resources convinced a Texas judge to support their $3 million counter suit against Steve, his wife and Alisa Rich for "conspiring" to alert the EPA to the dangerous test results found at the family's home.

The company the EPA found contaminated this family's water well is suing them for conspiring to get help from the EPA. The case will be heard by the Texas Supreme Court on January 4th:

The court finding McAleer uses here rubber stamps Range's preposterous claim. The judge later had to recuse himself from the case and lost his re-election bid when he bragged about the case in campaign mailers:

48:55 "The video was faked."
This is simply wrong. Range Resources cooked up the fake video theory to get out of taking responsibility, and managed to get an oil patch judge to back them up. The video clearly shows the gas coming out of the well head space, just as Steve describes and shows. Range Resources edited the tape for court.

Range also fed McAleer the tape's of Steve and Alisa shown in FrackNation. The clips are from a private deposition by Range Resources lawyers. It's not available to anyone in the public. Range gave the tapes to McAleer as part of their campaign to denagrate their victims publicly. McAleer then cuts the tapes to make the victims look like frauds.

Sadly, Steve's life has been destroyed this industry smear campaign. After four years of fighting, he still has a four-foot flame coming from his well headspace, he's been paying $1,000 a month to bring water to his family for three years and faces a $3 million lawsuit hanging over his head for simply mentioning the EPA said Range Resources was responsible.

48:55 "intentionally pumped gas into a water line"
McAleer gets it very wrong. Even the spurious court finding didn't say they "pumped in" gas, but that they "intentionally attach a garden hose to a gas vent." It happens that the "gas vent" was the vent for the well headspace of Steve's water well. The court is essentially admitting Steve's water well has essentially become a gas well.

49:00 "Steve Lipsky and Alisa Rich conspired to produce false evidence:
The EPA used parts of Rich's report in their own research. The testing Wolf Eagle did at Steve was accurate, as was the video illustrating the gas coming out of Steve's well.

49:05 "And Alisa Rich's claims that she was an engineer and had a Ph.D were also fraudulent."
Trey Loftin's ruling mentions nothing about Alisa Rich claiming to be an engineer or PhD fraudulently. McAleer makes that up. It's not there. The accusation is from Range Resource's deposition alone. At the time she was a Phd candidate and completed her Phd the following year. Alisa Rich never claimed to be an engineer. She had "engineers" in the name of her company. She hired an engineer and planned to hire more until industry attacks slowed down her business, after which she removed the word "engineers" from the name of her company.

Steve and Alisa were deposed - more like interrogated - by Range Resources' lawyers for hours as part of Range's case against them. The clip in FrackNation is from that deposition and was available only to the litigants. McAleer cuts the clip to make Rich look like a fraud. In the part that McAleer cuts out, Rich clearly explains that she mistakenly claimed to have her PhD during a heated public meeting. In fact, she was still in the candidate stage. (Candidates can use the PhD title, but are supposed to put "candidate" or "ABD" after the title.) As she states in the excluded part of the tape, Rich publicly apologized for this incident. A PhD is not a requirement to do air testing, and Ms. Rich was fully qualified to do the testing she did.

50:05 "This isn't the first time I've come across Alisa Rich. She was also hired by Calvin Tillman to provide the damning but completely inaccurate reports on the air and water quality in DISH Texas."
TCEQ reviewed Alisa Rich's report on the air quality in DISH and found no fraud. Her results were backed by many other findings including tests performed by TCEQ.

50:10 "Despite faking her credentials"
TCEQ reviewed Alisa Rich's report and did not find fraud. Even the court findings McAleer quotes about Rich never mention her PhD being a fraud. Those findings were from a case unrealted to Calvin Tillman--the Lipsky lawsuit. In that case Alisa Rich's findings were confirmed by EPA findings. EPA did not call Alisa Rich a fraud.

Besides McAleer, Range Resources is the only one calling Alisa Rich a fraud. They happen to be in a court case against her. They gave the video transcript of the deposition to McAleer in order to push their own interests. McAleer uses it to advance his own interests. FrackNation has made him a darling of conservative media, and he repeats the claim in numerous public appearances.

TCEQ, the EPA and the court case Phelim quotes did not find Alisa's credentials fraudulent. Calvin Tillman has reviewed the paperwork she submitted to the city of DISH when she was bidding on a job to do independent air testing. He found no fraudulent claims, and her tests helped get TCEQ to stop stonewalling and take some action to clean up the air in DISH.

Alisa Rich is now an Assistant Professor at North Texas University Health Science Center. She recieved her Phd in 2011. She has a pretty impressive resume. You can't hide fraud from North Texas University. It's not possibile that Rich is actually a fraud, but that hasn't stopped McAleer from from continuing to make the claim.

50:22 "Josh Fox still heavily relies on Alisa Rich"
Josh Fox bases his understanding of fracking on far more than two reports Alisa Rich did over three years ago.

51:40 “You can say the same of a cup of coffee with more justification.” (Professor Bruce Ames commenting on a list of chemicals in fracking fluid.)
Comparing frack fluid to coffee is silly. I don’t include any of these in my coffee:

About the Barnett shale breast cancer rates:

And I’m not sure a male cancer victim is the best authority on breast cancer. All studies that highlight the potential harms of this industry are attacked regardless of veracity of their findings. See the CHPNY Fracking Compendium for an exhaustive list of studies documenting the health risks associated with living close to natural gas drilling and fracking operations.

55:13"Fracking should be the least of your worries"

55:48 "Very low risk very low hazard.”
Yes, that is also what industry would like you to believe.

57:00 "95% of these minerals are mined in China"
This is part of the ever popular attack on green technology. Rare earth metals are used for far more than just solar:

58:45 DEP tested the water: no evidence of fracking ever having contaminated drinking water.”
The scene with Julie Sautner is tragic. McAleer pulled his harassment stunt with Julie for over an hour. Julie knew McAleer had lied to her and Craig and that he planned to use the film he took to discredit them. Craig heard McAleer tell Julie that he was going to take water from her property without her permission. Julie had to call Ray Kemble for help. Ray was there for a lot of it and backs up Julie’s account, although McAleer cuts him out. McAleer is good at angering people, then using the footage to make the person look bad. What’s sad is that FrackNation has been shown all over the world, shown in Parliaments and Universities. The Sautners have to live with the fact that their names are defamed around the globe .. when in fact they are victims of water contamination from natural gas drilling.

1:03:21 EPA results
Many families around the Carter Road contamination were angered when the EPA stated their water was safe to drink, for the simple reason that it wasn't.

Using a painful episode for no other reason than to make people look like frauds is both bad journalism and morally reprehensible.

1:04:10 “Campaigns by people like the Suatners bring bans and moratoriums on fracking around the world.”
No, bad drilling practices and more and more evidence that the fracking is not as safe as Industry has promised has brought bans and moratoriums on fracking around the world. Blaming victims and those who tell their stories is also bad journalism.

1:04:17“These bans had consequences because energy really matters.”
Yes, energy does matter. I don’t believe we are too stupid or too poor to create the new, sustainable, clean energy future. Clearly McAleer does.


“Josh fox was wrong about fracking. It didn’t make water flammable. It’s not exempt from environmental regulation. It doesn’t contaminate water. Fracking is not causing dangerous earthquakes. And it’s not causing widespread illness and death. All those wrongs affected the lives of a lot of ordinary people.”
Every one of these statements is Industry propaganda. The purpose of this film has been singular- to promote this propaganda as if it's fact. Gas related methane migration has made many people's tap water light on fire that did not light before drilling. Dimock has clean pre-drill tests to probe that's true. Fracking IS exempt from federal regulations covering clean drinking water and air. The fracking boom has contaminated so many water wells we would nor be able to count - as many victims are now under Industry forced gag orders. Fracking related injection wells create earthquakes strong enough do structural damage. The following citation addresses illness and death:


“Because of Gasland fracking has been banned in many places around the world. Josh fox still refuses to be interviewed about the inaccuracies in "Gasland." Despite this HBO has commissioned him to make a sequel.”
Because of the truth about the dangers of the fracking boom, fracking has been banned in many places. That's not Josh Fox's work or the fault of any of the victims of water or air contamination.

HBO required every statement made in "Gasland 2" be vetted by their many lawyers. Not one retraction has been needed.

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