Analysis: Anti-Fracking Documentary Loaded With Inconsistent Science

Image: Analysis: Anti-Fracking Documentary Loaded With Inconsistent Science Josh Fox

Thursday, 11 Jul 2013 05:15 PM

By Andrea Billups

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A new documentary film opposed to fracking — a hydraulic natural gas extraction technique — offers inconsistent and misleading claims, an analysis by the Washington Free Beacon suggests.

Gasland Part II, a sequel to 2010's Oscar-nominated documentary Gasland, relies on faulty data and outright falsehoods to make its environmental claims, the Free Beacon said, outlining several points in the film made by environmental activist Josh Fox that bear scrutiny.

The paper said scientific and government experts had refuted claims made in the documentary, citing policy reports and studies that suggest fracking is not the environmental conundrum some activists have made it out to be as the nation attempts a shift to more affordable energy sources readily available at home.

The paper cited several faulty assertions in the film.

The documentary makes the claim that water contamination is the result of fracking, as opposed to any one of a litany of potential natural causes. The EPA has refuted the charge, with the analysis recalling EPA administrator Lisa Jackson telling Congress in 2011, "I am not aware of any proven case where the fracking process itself affected water. In no case have we made a definitive determination that the fracking process has caused chemicals to enter groundwater." Jackson said.

The article also takes issues with the documentary's claim that fracking causes earthquakes.
While the film's director attempts to tie normal seismic activity and fracking, government scientists say it's not the case.

"We find no evidence that fracking is related to the occurrence of earthquakes that people are feeling," said U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Bill Ellsworth in releasing a study on the issue.

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