Recently released film “Truthland” features facts, expert interviews, and one woman’s mission to find the truth about the safety of shale development.
It took one mom in rural northeast Pennsylvania to launch a film project to tell the “real story” when it comes to shale. Shelly Depue of Franklin, Susquehanna County, a mother, grandmother, farmer, and science teacher, wanted answers for herself, her family, and her community. She took it upon herself to do her own investigation. Depue’s journey is chronicled in “Truthland.”
Depue, like most landowners, was excited about the prospect of what natural gas reserves under her farm could mean for her family.
“That excitement was tempered somewhat by the negative stories we had heard about hydraulic fracturing. Then came ‘Gasland,’ and that made it even tougher to determine what the truth really was. Well, the science teacher in me had questions, and I owed it to my family to go out and find out what was real. To get our questions answered, I knew I needed to go where the experts were. And so, that’s exactly what I did,” Depue said in a statement on the “Truthland” website.
In the HBO movie “Gasland,” New York City filmmaker Josh Fox tried to portray fracking as dangerous, dirty, disruptive, and unregulated. The film—http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/—spoke of so-called flammable faucets, top-secret chemicals, and sick livestock.
After seeing the film, Depue had one question: Is the process used to develop natural gas resources safe? Or is “Gasland” a true depiction?
For part of the film, Depue interviewed more than a dozen energy and environmental experts in six states. A project of the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and Energy In Depth (EID), the costs associated with the production of the 34-minute film were underwritten by industry, but none of the experts who appear in the movie (Depue included) were paid for their time or participation. The only thing they were asked to do was tell the truth.
The interviews comprise the main body of “Truthland.” The full movie can be viewed at http://www.truthlandmovie.com/. The extended, unedited interviews of the experts are available on the “extras” page. Visitors to the site can also find other information about the story, the experts, and the facts. “Gasland” also has a site with similar features.
Jeff Eshelman, vice president of public affairs for IPAA and executive vice president of EID said this isn’t the first time a project has been released in an attempt to debunk “Gasland.”
“It is the first time that these facts have been transmitted in such vivid detail, through such a compelling medium, as part of a story told by someone as genuine and inspirational as Shelly—someone whose stake in responsible development, and in protecting air, water and the environment, is both very serious and deeply personal,” he said.