Pro-fracking movie gets $22K in two days on Kickstarter

An image from the "FrackNation" Kickstarter page is accompanied by text attributed to Tyler, whose farmer father, Ron, has leased a portion of the family land for gas production. "The gas has bailed us out. The gas has saved us. That's all there is to it." ("FrackNation") click on the image to enlarge


Dean Kuipers
The Los Angeles Times

In what may be interpreted as a backlash against the Oscar-nominated environmentalist film “Gasland,” a new production titled “FrackNation” has received an eye-popping $22,000 in donations during its first two days on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter.

“Gasland” is a searing critique of the oil and gas drilling practice known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which has come under intense scrutiny by environmental groups and the EPA. “FrackNation” co-creator Phelim McAleer says that his new film seeks to give voice to those longtime residents in gas-drilling areas who support fracking.

Previous films by McAleer and the film’s co-creator Ann McElhinney, including “Mine Your Own Business,” critique the environmentalist community for getting in the way of industry and jobs for working people. It is not clear if any of the 252 Kickstarter donations come from gas and oil interests directly. This film, McAleer says, started when he went to see a presentation by Joshua Fox, the director of “Gasland.”

“I live in Marina del Rey, California. I have no interest in gas. I’m a journalist and I went to a Q&A by Josh Fox, and asked him some difficult questions and got some interesting answers,” McAleer says. The two of them began a discussion of the footage in the film in which homeowners ignite the natural gas that comes out of their taps. “He knew that people could light their water for decades before fracking started. He said he didn’t include that in the film because it wasn’t relevant.”

McAleer put up a video of the exchange on YouTube. Fox’s lawyers pounced, claiming that, since the video contained footage from the “Gasland” movie, it was copyright infringement, and it was taken down. Same thing at Vimeo. Finally McAleer put it on his own site, but they got him there too.

“An interesting response for a journalist: He censored it,” McAleer says. “I thought: what’s the story? What’s he hiding?”…

The article continues at the LA Times.

CAJ note: Disclosure: members of this blog have donated to Phelim and Ann’s project via Kickstarter.

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