"Truthland" Has The Facts You Didn’t See In "Gasland"
On Saturday, June 16, the documentary film “Truthland” will make its first official screening to audiences in Columbus, Ohio, followed by a 35-stop screening tour across more than 12 U.S. states. “Truthland” comes as a response to the 2010 Josh Fox documentary film “Gasland,” a film that skewed audience’s beliefs about natural gas drilling.
“Gasland” portrayed natural gas drilling in a misguided and inaccurate way, leaving viewers to believe that it was directly linked to the contamination of both tap water and local lakes, leading to health issues in residents and cattle, and the death of many fish, respectively.
“Truthland,” on the other hand, sets out to tell the real truth about shale development. The star of “Truthland” isn’t a filmmaker like Josh Fox in “Gasland,” and she wasn’t paid to make the film; she is a Pennsylvania farmer and mother, named Shelly, who recently permitted hydraulic fracturing of natural gas under her farm. Since Shelly is responsible for a family and livestock, she wanted to find out for herself if the disturbing images of natural gas drilling portrayed in “Gasland” had any validity.
In a June 13, 2012, national press release pertaining to the launch of “Truthland,” the film is described as the “factual alternative to ‘Gasland.’” In the film, Shelly interviews a professor of geosciences, the former secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental protection, and the director of the Environmental Defense Fund Texas Regional Office, among other experts. Her purpose was to question these experts about the safety of natural gas drilling: “The only thing they were asked to do was tell the truth: as best they knew it.” None of these interviewees were paid for their contribution to the film, yet they all had the resounding answer that hydraulic fracturing is safe and highly regulated, and doesn’t have the harmful consequences that Josh Fox makes viewers believe in “Gasland.”
“Truthland” is a project facilitated by the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and Energy In Depth (EID). Yet, they aren’t the only ones working to set the record straight in response to misleading representation of the effects of natural gas drilling, as was shown in the “Gasland” documentary. The Switch Energy Project also released a documentary film, along with educational programs, to help build knowledge and awareness about energy and our future. Projects like this, along with the documentary film “Truthland,” are credible resources of information about gas drilling and production.