Gasland Part II – Landowners and Truth Denied

Gasland Part II, like the Return of Jaws and the Amityville Curse, is a failed attempt at recreating an original film to continue momentum.  For those opposing natural gas it must be frustrating to find the film is a retread of the same claims that caused its predecessor to steadily leach credibility to the point where it lost relevance.  

Gasland Part II premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last night.  I was there with Steve Everley of our Energy In Depth team and what an anti-climatic event it turned out to be.  From a factual perspective, the movie itself was, as we predicted, a complete dud.  Josh Fox did prove one thing, though, and that was his absolute intolerance for any views other than his own and his lack of concern for anyone but his own clique of supporters.

The movie was in many ways simply a rehash of Gasland which had zero credibility among anyone with even passing knowledge of the oil and natural gas industry.  Call it “Gasland Too,” as Steve suggests.  Moreover, Josh Fox and his supporters appear to have refused to let ticket-carrying landowners from upstate New York enter the movie.  The reason you ask?  Will it appears it was simply because they didn’t share his view. The truth, in other words, got the short end of the stick with Gasland Part II.

Gasland Part II almost has to be viewed as a disappointment by it supporters as there was nothing in the film that even remotely resembled new information.  Instead, the film was a wordy rehash of the very same claims that many experts – including studies funded by the Sierra Club – have debunked on many occasions.  What was on stark display, however, was Fox’s refusal to tolerate others’ opinions, as some of our friends were denied entrance to the screening.  It’s worth noting these landowners had to get up very early (4:30 AM in one case) to make the long trip to the Tribeca section of Manhattan to see the movie.

Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 7.11.38 AMVictor Furman (pictured at right), Inge Grafe-Kieklak and Sherry Hart were all denied entrance to the screening after having purchased tickets and made the long trek to New York City.  Why?  Because they dared to ask Josh Fox questions before he entered the theater, though the Tribeca Film Festival is trying, after the fact, to suggest there simply wasn’t room (there was – I was there).

Challenging the political correct template doesn’t win you many friends in trendy Tribeca, after all, and certainly not with Josh Fox, who we suspect arrived late to avoid debate with Phelim McAleer of FrackNation, who had already been denied entrance.

If this sounds as if Josh Fox is really one scared rabbit, well, so be it.  It sure looked that way from our perspective.  Here’s what our landowner friends had to say about being excluded:

What scares Josh Fox?  Well, it’s not hard to understand once you’ve seen Gasland Part II.   It seems he is scared of being exposed.  As one example, Fox revisits Dimock, using the Sautner’s now infamous brown jug as a prop to keep that narrative alive despite the fact that U.S. EPA announced the Sautner’s water is safe after conducting extensive testing.  Fox, of course, is angry his scheme to manipulate the EPA came to nothing so he had to think of some reason – any reason – to save face regarding Dimock.

So, in that vein, he talks about the ill-conceived Dimock-Montrose water line nearly all residents opposed and that gave birth to Dimock Proud. Of course in Fox’s view of reality this was not a grassroots uprising of residents objecting to an ill-advised project but, instead, was all a big setup by nameless corporate interests. Convenient isn’t it?  And, so reflective of the director’s style.  Say anything, it matters not if the facts exist to back it up.

Well, luckily for those who value the truth, Phelim McAleer made the final entry in the Dimock ledger and the Sautner family has moved to another property with a gas lease in New York.  It seems that matters not to Josh who is still living in a make-believe world of yesteryear (seen below filming Yoko Ono’s tour of a Dimock junkyard in an attempt to prove there is still something wrong with Dimock’s water).

Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 9.35.27 PM

Fox also tries to correct the Gasland record here and there, admitting the Milanville property was always his fathers’ and never his, for example.  This was interjected amidst all sorts of disconnected material with little or no detail backing up anything.  This included imagery from the BP off-shore oil spill near the beginning of the movie that was simply inexplicable, plus footage of a woman making a bizarre claim of having hydraulic fracturing fluid in her lungs and an equally ludicrous comparison by Fox of his fingerprint with tree rings.

Then there was the recycling of claims from Parker County, Texas and Pavillion, Wyoming that have turned out to be total embarrassments for EPA and the natural gas opposition.  There were even more flaming faucets, after everything that has been written to illustrate the absurdity of claims that hydraulic fracturing has anything to do with this natural phenomena.

Was this the best Josh Fox could do?  Apparently so.  It was a totally disjointed presentation, with every significant allegation having already been addressed in great detail by Energy In Depth and other independent experts.  Adding to the surreal nature of the film was the fact it began with a positive statement about natural gas by President Obama.

Fox is apparently now at a point where everyone is his enemy, from industry, to landowners who question his assertions, to major environmental organizations who don’t share his tactics, to even the President of the United States who sees value in natural gas as an energy source.  It all suggests a man who knows he’s on the losing side and is striking out at any and all who don’t accept the purist view, the one that gave him his 15 minutes of fame, which is now slowly slipping away.

No wonder Fox is scared.  The game is up.  Gasland Part II isn’t a sequel.  It’s the death rattle of a burnt out movie going up in flames.  It’s Gasland Too, after all.

Comments

  1. Sherry says:

    I would like to shine the light of shame on John Fenn right now, the rancher “from” Wyoming. John is the Powder River Basin Resource Council Board Chairman. When the PRBRC was formed in 1973, it was with the goal of the ranchers and coal mines to work together for the benefit of both. Note WORK TOGETHER. Their funding was localized. Check out where their funding now comes from – PRBRC’s biggest source of operating funds is the New York City-based Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation as listed on ActivistCash (http://activistcash.com/organizations/276-powder-river-basin-resource-council/) While you are there, you might take a gander at some of the other ways of Wyoming life that the Council has been attacking since being led by those with a far differing agenda.

  2. Chris Acker says:

    Insightful review, Ms. Colley. Apparently, Josh has been Out Foxed!

  3. susan dorsey says:

    re: Sunday’s screening of Gasland II but I was there. I am an upstate landowner, but I did not take part in any protest.

    I was ‘profiled’ as a troublemaker, and that was apparent by the way I was being watched by security and they were obviously messaging each other back and forth regarding me. Outside I only took pictures, never raised my voice and carried no signs or any other form of dissent. There was a very large presence of security acting as ‘ushers’ or bouncers. I am a 55 year old grandmother.

    Once inside, I saw that a dozen or so rows of the center section had been roped off as reserved. These seats were guarded by the security team and eventually filled with the ‘who’s who’ of the anti gas development contingent. I took an aisle seat at the left side towards the front. The seats in that row were unoccupied so I was attempting to hold the seats for some people I knew who had tickets. Per the Tribeca rules, ticket holders are admitted before the RUSH line of last minute hopefuls. As the RUSH line was being admitted, it never occurred to me that advance ticket holders would NOT be admitted. Having gone to Catholic school I was taught to play by the rules!

    I was approached by a goon acting as an usher. He told my that my ‘friends’ would not be coming in. In front of other theatre goers, he called me a liar when I told him I did not know anyone named Philbin. He said I was seen talking to someone outside. What the hell is that? Guilt by association? I spoke to many people out front while waiting!

    I have never been so insulted in my life as by the security team that day. I left as the movie was starting, and even as I exited I was surrounded by goons “Is there something wrong?” Did they expect me to say I had just placed a bomb under my seat and needed to leave?
    I answered “YES something is definitely wrong!”, then saw I was being pursued up the aisle by the person who told me he knew who my friends are.

    I called him out in front of his peers (who were the only ones outside the theatre doors) for his insults and told him I would report him. I tried to find someone representing the venue but was told by a security employee there was no one there from the school as it was Sunday. The head of security did come over to speak with me. I told him that his employee had insulted me by calling me a liar. I had hoped that reporting his behavior would result in a reprimand, but it was not until later that I had time to think about it that the pattern became clear. This was pre-planned and it was what the staff had been directed to do. They were hired to find trouble and by God they were going to!

    My daughter is a student where the event was held. I had come to the city to help move her things from her dorm for the summer vacation. This is not the sort of reception I expected, and the treatment I got was totally undeserved. I later read about a reporter who had her press pass torn from her neck because she had intervewed the ‘wrong’ people outside. Here are links to those articles:

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/tribeca-reporter-arrested-covering-gasland-444793

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/04/22/farmers-banned-from-viewing-anti-fracking-gasland-2-premier-at-film-fest-despite-having-tickets/

    WHAT IS JOSH FOX trying to HIDE????

    if he won’t allow people who live in the area that is the subject of his films into the discourse?

    This is America?

    Why is there no requirement that a ‘documentary’ actually be factual?

    • Tom Shepstone says:

      Great comment, Susan!

  4. Iraq Steals New Yorks Water Plot uncovered by local anti drillers

    http://www.greedylandowners.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1866

  5. Chris A says:

    Susan, terrible experience. There are many forms of government “isms” that repress freedom. Like, communism, socialism, fascism, Marxism and an “ist” like Maoist. What they all have in common is repression of dissent. What our run-of-the-mill leftists like Fox and his ilk do not realize is that they are the precursors to totalitarianism. As members of the “intelligentsia,” they would find themselves high on the “liquidation” list in a future dictatorship.

  6. James Barth says:

    Leaving the merits/demerits of the film’s content aside, the actions, and, subsequent portrayal of the events, by representatives of Energy in Depth, along with the acolyte lessors who depend on EID for talking points, is disturbing, as always.

    My wife and I, Pennsylvania landowners of 24.83 (I might have said 25, but I would not want to be accused of misrepresentation), partially landscaped (by 24 years of our hard work) acres, plus beautiful house, and, studio (that we designed, and, had built by a local contractor, and labor hired by him), traveled to 23rd Street (not Tribeca), on Sunday morning (we didn’t get up at 4:30 am to see a 3:30 pm show-where does that person live, Nova Scotia?), to see “Gasland II”. We paid $40 to a friend who lives in downtown Manhattan, and who had purchased the tickets for us.

    We arrived at the School of Visual Arts theater, on 23rd, between 8th and 9th Avenue, around 2:30, for the 3:30 show. The ticket holder’s line was already surprisingly long, and we got on it. At some point, the theater started letting in about 30 people at a time. We were, perhaps, the 5th grouping to be let in, and, the line was as long behind us, as in front of us. Clearly, a lot of “insiders” had already been allowed in, as the lobby was packed, and the cinema seemed about 70% filled by the time we entered.

    There were also lots of seats that were marked “reserved” (about 40% of the row we sat in, towards the rear of the cinema, was so marked), which is usual for premiers. My wife, and I, sat down, and remained there until the movie started. When I went out to the lobby to use the rest room, I was given a return stub, for re-entry.

    Until today, April 28th, when I internet searched “Gasland II” for reviews, I had no idea as to any of the “controversy” that is described in this Colley essay. Amazing.

    My wife and I traveled to see the film, not to protest. We had no problem.

    It seems all the EID acolytes did is to travel to disrupt the premiere, and, to get their iPhone footage, so they could twist the event to their purpose. Mr. McAleer, and his “Don’t touch me! Don’t touch me” spouse, are clearly a self-serving, manipulative, couple that fit right in with the EID, and, JLCNY/NWPOA cause. As I mentioned, I guess you got your iPhone footage, enough to further your propaganda. Congratulations.

    While my wife and I were wating in the cinema for the film to start, what did you folks do? You either never entered, or, you entered, left one person to “save” six seats, while you went out to join Phelim McAleer in his boorish attempt to disrupt, for his own self-aggrandizement, whatever press interview was happening outside.

    After seeing how you “struggling farmers” acted, do you really think that the Tribeca organizers, and security, would let you back in to act, how? You came to protest, and, to show your contempt for Josh Fox, not to watch the premiere of “Gasland II”.

    My wife and I are grateful, that we were unaware of all this propaganda bull going on outside, and, we are shocked to learn, today, that it even happened. Since you can’t behave yourselves in a civilized fashion, at a film screening, we are very happy that you were denied entry, or, re-entry.

    You have no understanding of First Amendment rights. You just act badly. You could have seen the film, then protested, or, written your silly essays that “debunk” the film. Instead, you have hooked your selves to the sad wagons of Phelim McAleer. So be it.

    My wife and I attended his “FrackNation” at a screening in Honesdale, and even while he made an idiot of himself with his global climate change denials, and, his Putin, EPA accusations, we remained silent, and, respectful. We didn’t make comments during his film. We just watched it along with the other 40 or so attendees.

    HBO has about 40 million viewers, so I fully understand why McAleer is the right wing, pathetic, imitation of Michael Moore, as he needs to drum up publicity for himself.

    Good luck getting past your choir.

  7. James Barth says:

    As an after thought to the comment I posted, and do not see printed yet, I would add that it seems crystal clear that McAleer, and, the “struggling farmers”, did not come to see “Gasland II”, but, rather, to use it as a PR stunt to advance your shale gas agenda.

    Contrary to your goal, The Tribeca Film Festival was interested in showing films, and in this case, Gasland II, without such interruption. As far as the film screening, they succeeded, and as two who came to view the film, we are grateful that you were prevented from sabotaging the viewing.

    Mr. McAleer, and his spouse, are parasites, who can’t seem to get traction except by sucking off of various other’s, flesh.

    One would think that, with all the billions of dollars in profit the extraction industries make each year, combined with the pitiful amount of corporate taxes those same companies pay, in the U.S., that the industry would/could, come up with a better PR effort.

    The PsyOps doesn’t seem to be working. Will drone strikes be next?

    • Tom Shepstone says:

      Jim,

      As usual you just can’t help yourself. Your first comment was rational to a point, although we had nothing to do with any protests and did not learn of the problems until after the movie had taken place. There were no protests per se, as we understand it. just folks asking questions and wanting to get in. Your second comment, however, is the one that shows your contempt for anyone who disagrees with you. I’ll let it speak for itself as to how you conduct argument.

    • Bill desRosiers says:

      How is that any different then Josh’s actions in Washington D.C. when he did everything he could to be arrested on camera?

      • James Barth says:

        Bill, I don’t know what happened outside of the cinema, first hand, because, I was inside, oblivious to that which was happening outside.

        My understanding, broadly speaking, is that questions from “the crowd”, were not part of the equation, nor were questions from people outside of the small circle that was interviewing Fox. If someone has a different understanding of the structure of that part of the premiere, share it. If the McAleer crowd was throwing questions out like, “Josh, how can you lie like that”, in effect, and, if they are not part of the select group doing the interview, well, that might signal something to the event organizers that would make them not want to let those people into the film showing. It seems reasonable to me. Tribeca Film Festival organizers want to show the film, not provide a vehicle for certain people to further their PR agenda, or cause a disturbance.

        Fox, at the Congressional hearing, which is open to the public, and where, normally, a reporter’s camera is allowed to roll, was not permitted to shoot the video. The Republican chair changed the rules for this particular hearing. You can hear the Democrat congressmen / women, on the Committee, protesting his decision. Fox was inside the room. He refused to turn off the camera, and, he was arrested, and, quietly, without resistence, ejected, from the room, before the hearing got under way.

        I see a large difference, not the least of which was, Fox was arrested. More to the point, Fox did not come to Washington to disrupt that hearing, or, interrupt it with questions, polite or otherwise, but to record the Committee member’s questions, and the testimony given, by those who were questioned, which is normally allowed. This was a public hearing, paid for by taxpayer money, conducted by Representatives, who are paid by Federal Tax monies collected from the public.

        Anyone who wanted to see Gasland II, and who had tickets, could have. No one was asked, “are you against, or for, shale gas extraction”, as they entered the cinema.

        • Tom Shepstone says:

          The folks turned away did have tickets.

          • James Barth says:

            Tom, your response ignores everything I wrote that is pertinent to the point you are making.

            The facts are simple, they contradict you, and, we all know, that will not stop you from pressing your disingenuous agenda.

            I know they have said they had tickets. I’ll accept that as truth, yet, if they had just showed up, gotten on line (like everyone else except your groupies), handed their tickets to the taker, walked inside, stayed inside, they would have gotten in. They would have seen the film.

            End of story.

            Except, to you, and, your groupies, who live in your own, very small, world.

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            That’s quite disingenuous of you, Jim, if I may be permitted to steal your characterization; calling my friends groupies and small world folks when it’s just the opposite.

          • James Barth says:

            Well, as I wrote, it was quite disingenuous for you to have written “The folks turned away did have tickets”. You simply ignore any, and all, the pertinent info that led to their rejection.

            Now, in your last response, you choose to ignore that same elephant in the room, and simply write that it is I, not you and your EID groupies, who lives in a small world.

            Are you Linda Blair in reverse drag? How do you keep your head from spinning off your shoulders?

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            You’re so easily irritated, Jim.

  8. Observer says:

    Jim Barth

    When in America people are pre judged by their passions and the practise of free speech outside a venue like they were in NYC at Tribeca, then we have to question what is happening in America land of the free? I was their with my wife as a NY landowner. The behavior was not such that it called for barring farmers & landowners from entry. Also the theater was not at capacity a you described but was at about 60 percent and the photo’s on fracknations facebook clearly show the empty seats with the movie playing in the background. You have fabricated and led me believe you were not there with your above post because if you were in the rush line then you would have witnessed the questions aimed at liar Josh Fox. You would have seen nothing more then people targeted by Fox in his movie disputing his motives and science. Landowners have never been discourtious as the anti movement in meetings
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asHZdHJZv-o

    • Tanya says:

      This video reminds me a kindergarten class with half of them trowing a “He touched me” tantrum.

  9. James Barth says:

    Dear “Observer”,

    I was there, and what I described, was not only as I saw it, but, as it was. Did you bother to read what I wrote? Do you have the ability to even comprehend what you read?

    I wrote: “Clearly, a lot of “insiders” had already been allowed in, as the lobby was packed, and the cinema seemed about 70% filled by the time we entered. There were also lots of seats that were marked “reserved” (about 40% of the row we sat in, towards the rear of the cinema, was so marked…”

    You dare to rewrite that as, in your words, “Also the theater was not at capacity a you described”. Tell me, where exactly did I say what you wrote? I did not. How can you make this up while the words are still on the same page? What I wrote is a simple, true, observation. Seats were about 70% filled when we noted, my row was listed at about 40% reserved, and, when I entered, the lobby was packed.

    I will say, that even though I focused on the movie once it started, and did not do a head count, the room certainly seemed near to, or at, capacity, the next time I looked, which was after the movie ended.

    Then, you dare to write, “You have fabricated and led me believe you were not there with your above post because if you were in the rush line then you would have witnessed the questions aimed at liar Josh Fox. ” Again, I state that we were inside at least 1/2 hour before the movie started, and, we didn’t witness Phelim, or perhaps you, carrying on, at any point. What “rush” line were we standing on? I understood it simply as “the ticket holders line”, plane and simple.

    Perhaps, since we were about 150 people back, you were calling Fox a liar and I didn’t see any of your poor behavior because I was removed from the entrance? Perhaps, what you describe didn’t occur until after we entered the cinema, which is what I surmised? Yet, you have the idiotic audacity to say I “fabricate”? You fit perfectly with EID, as you accuse others of exactly what you are guilty of. You fabricate, then accuse me of making things up, and, not even attending!

    As Tom stated, I’ve gotten to the point of being easily irritated when it comes to foolish words, or behavior, and, Observer, you sure fit that bill.

    You arrived so angry, you couldn’t even see straight?

    • Tanya says:

      Again the “He’s touching me” tantrum.

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