More than 200 local residents came out to the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus this weekend for a screening of the new, fact-based documentary “Truthland,” The event, co-hosted by EID, OOGA, , the Ohio Energy Resource Alliance, and others, brought together groups ranging from Ohio’s TEA Party to representatives from local labor coalitions. And they were joined by residents, landowners, chamber of commerce representatives and even the mayor of Canton.
The crowd was captivated by the movie which highlighted Shelly’s travels in search of the facts surrounding natural gas development. In her quest for answers, Shelly traveled to six states, meeting with a number of experts and colorful characters along the way. If you still haven’t seen the movie, it’s definitely worth watching and can be viewed at www.truthlandmovie.com
Following the screening, a group of local experts gathered to share their views and insights into how the Utica is benefitting Ohio. The panel was just as diverse as those in attendance and included Canton mayor William Healy, Local 18 organizer Tom Byers and Marietta College professor Ben Ebenhack, among others. Each panelist discussed issues of importance ranging from the mechanics of energy development to employment opportunities experienced as a result of those activities.
One of the best quotes of the day came from Linda Wotton, Executive Vice President of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.
“I came today to COSI to see Truthland and I thought it was one heck of a movie. I was so inspired by Shelly and she traveled around the country seeking out the truth. I know, if you are like me, you’ve given into your fears so many times. Instead if we can just pick up ourselves and go find out the truth we would know why oil and gas exploration and production is so important for Ohio. It’s going to mean so much to our economy and for people that need jobs.” -Linda Woggon, Ohio Chamber of Commerce
Also in attendance was Mayor William Healy of the City of Canton, the proclaimed “Utica Capital of Ohio”. Mayor Healy discussed Truthland and the benefits natural gas development has provided to Canton.
“We are very, very, excited in the City of Canton about the oil and gas explorations and the opportunities that is bringing to our community with the job creation and the opportunity to bring natural gas and produce more energy for our region,” – Mayor William Healy, City of Canton
Of course, as Ohioans gathered to celebrate the economic prosperity Utica Shale development has brought to the Buckeye State a group of demonstrators gathered across town to spread fear and mis-information based on the well worn myths put forward by Josh Fox in Gasland. Led by Fox himself, along with Bill McKibben, these protestors gathered to urge a ban on a process that has been conducted without a single flaw or environmental incident in Ohio while helping to reduce our unemployment rate from 9.2 percent in December 2010 to 7.4 percent today.
Of course, those who attended Fox and McKibben’s event on Sunday could be forgiven for not knowing much about Ohio’s current employment situation – as it turns out, most folks we came across at that event weren’t even from Ohio, as the short video we put together (below) makes plain:
“My name is Jack and I am from Brooklyn, NY and I support the ban on fracking, the proposed ban on fracking in the State of Ohio, and in any state.” – Jack from Brooklyn
All jokes aside, we’d be remiss if we didn’t take a second to thank the hundreds of Ohio residents who came to COSI to see Truthland and show their support for responsible resource development in the Buckeye State. Of course, we also want thank everyone who participated in the day’s events — as well as the International Union of Operating Engineers- local 18 chapter, the Ohio Tea Party, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio Shale Coalition, OOGA, OOGEEP, ANGA and API.