Tags: damon | fracking | movie | dangers

Energy Companies Slam Matt Damon's Fracking Movie

Friday, 04 Jan 2013 03:16 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Energy companies taking Matt Damon to task over his new anti-fracking movie, which opens across the nation Friday, slamming it as a misguided work of Hollywood fiction.

“This movie has about as much in common with the reality of current natural gas production as any Hollywood romance has with love,” Travis Davies of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers told Toronto’s Globe and Mail.

The R-rated flick explores the issues of hydraulic fracking in a story about a veteran teacher who stands up to two shrewd sales reps trying to sell the idea of drilling for natural gas to an economically depressed rural town.

It has received rave advance reviews from critics, but energy executives are furious that it paints them as profit-motivated vipers. Environmental critics say fracking can contaminate water supplies and spur earthquakes.

In the trailer for the film, a farmer is seen addressing a group of people, warning them, “I’m here because my farm is gone. The land just turned brown and died. If it happened to one of us, it can happen to all of us.”

But Michael Binnion, chief executive of Questerre Energy, told the Globe and Mail there is no evidence whole farms have been destroyed by fracking, in which oil and gas is extracted from rocks using with drills, chemicals, and high pressure.

“Just because somebody has made an allegation doesn’t mean there really are two legitimate points of view,” he told the newspaper.

Environmental critics say fracking can contaminate water supplies and spur earthquakes.

Damon said fracking has divided communities over the financial benefits of the process versus possible dangers.

“It is a temporary lifeline to some people. But there are potential downstream horrific outcomes,” the Oscar-winning star recently told The Fresno Bee in California.

“It’s such a high-stakes games, it was a perfect place to kind of set a movie about decisions we make as communities.”

“Promised Land,’’ also stars John Krasinski, Frances McDormand and Hal Holbrook, and is directed by Gus Van Zant. It is adapted from a story by Dave Eggers.



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