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Friday, July 19, 2013

Gasland II Continues to Attract Attention, Both Positive and Negative

From Forbes:
Imagine some of America’s best minds created a technological breakthrough that could pull us out of recession, lower every American’s cost of living, revitalize dead industries, and lead to employment opportunities for millions. How would we react?
Unfortunately, history tells us that technological breakthroughs often face hysterical opposition. Technophobes opposed the automobile. They opposed the radio. They opposed the computer.
And now they’re opposing today’s most exciting technological breakthrough, shale energy technology—aka “fracking.”
Their spokesman is Josh Fox. And July 8th, to worldwide fanfare, HBO broadcast his latest manifesto, Gasland, Part II.And now they’re opposing today’s most exciting technological breakthrough, shale energy technology—aka “fracking.”
Read the rest here.

And from The Washington Post:
Now Fox is back with a sequel, “Gasland Part II.” Like the earlier film, this one, which aired last week on HBO, has some powerful images. There is the wealthy Texan who walks out of his mansion and over to his water well and lights up the water pouring out of a garden hose. There is the mayor of DISH, Tex., who leaves town because he says chemical fumes are making his family sick; he calls fracking “the biggest assault on property rights I’ve ever seen.” And there is a homeowner who takes a break from packing boxes to sit down at the piano and play the famous Doors tune “Light My Fire.”
There is an element of peeing in the punch bowl about Fox’s films. Fracking — a combination of horizontal drilling and water-intensive hydraulic fracturing — unlocks vast oil and gas reserves bottled up in layers of shale rock. It is driving down U.S. natural gas costs, luring energy-intensive industries from abroad and driving many polluting coal plants out of business.
Fox, however, portrays fracking as something that mars the scenery, sparks heavy truck traffic, injects toxic chemicals into the Earth and, above all, contaminates water aquifers.
Is Fox’s message nuanced? Hardly. Are there flaws in his argument? In places. 
Read that whole article here.

From Earthworks:
The scene in Gasland 2 had Josh sitting in the passenger seat, filming Chris in the drivers’ seat, with the oil pumpjacks slowly pumping oil in the Los Angeles basin in the background. What was truly remarkable about that scene, though, was that Josh Fox didn’t burn a drop of oil to film it: Chris was driving Josh around in his electric Nissan Leaf. Like many EV drivers, Chris’s Leaf is recharged by rooftop solar panels on his home.
In that scene, we could glimpse the 20th century dirty fossil fuel paradigm colliding with the 21st century powered by clean renewable energy. We know we face a tough battle against the oil and gas industry – but the good news is that these problems aren’t unsolvable. Chris Paine represents a surging movement of consumers who are fed up with the oil industry, and have walked away from it. The solutions are available – we just have to put them to use.
One must note the absurdity of this post not acknowledging the practical complications behind installing solar panels to charge your car, as well as the reality that Fox undoubtedly flied to Los Angeles to film the shot, thus making the "didn't burn a drop of oil to film it" line...let's say, questionable.  You can read the rest of the article here.

And from Fuel Fix:
According to a recent estimate by the Energy Information Administration, energy-related emissions of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas that is widely believed to contribute to global warming, have fallen 12% between 2005 and 2012 and are at their lowest level since 1994. While there is more than one factor contributing to this reduction, it has been reported that U.S. natural gas production has greatly contributed to a dramatic reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions. 
Despite findings such as these, aggressive advocacy from energy opposition groups and activists continue to try to create negative perceptions about shale gas. From Yoko Ono to Lady Gaga and now Josh Fox (again), there seems to be no end to the claims being made against hydraulic fracturing and the natural gas revolution occurring across the U.S. However, the Associated Press recently reported that the opponents of shale gas production were accused of twisting the facts – creating concern that these critics may be misleading the public by using claims that have little or nothing behind them.
Read the rest here. 

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