The 9 Biggest Lies Gasland Told Us
1. Gasland Lie: The oil and gas industry is above the law.
Lie: “What I didn’t know was that the 2005 energy bill pushed through Congress by Dick Cheney exempts the oil and natural gas industries from Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Superfund law, and about a dozen other environmental and Democratic regulations.”
Truth: This statement is absolutely without merit. According to a review by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the oil and gas industry is under strict regulation from the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Superfund Law – just to name a few. The 2005 energy bill Gasland refers to was supported by 75% of the U.S. Senate and drew support from both parties.
2. Gasland Lie: The 2005 Energy bill was made with a purposeful loophole to give an advantage to hydraulic fracturing.
Lie: “The energy task force, and $100 million lobbying effort on behalf of the industry, were significant in the passage of the ‘Halliburton Loophole.’”
Truth: For this statement to be true, the EPA would have had to regulate hydraulic fracturing prior to 2005. Here’s what Carol Browner, who was Bill Clinton’s EPA Administrator, said in 1995: “EPA does not regulate – and does not believe it is legally required to regulate – the hydraulic fracturing of methane gas production wells under its UIC program.”
3. Gasland Lie: Oil and gas companies are poisoning the water.
Lie: “oil and gas drillers…inject known hazardous materials, unchecked, directly into or adjacent to underground drinking water supplies.”
Truth: The subsurface areas that are affected by fracturing are located thousands and thousands of feet below groundwater aquifers.
4. Gasland Lie: Fracking chemicals are top secret.
Lie: “Because of the exemptions, fracking chemicals are considered proprietary … The only reason we know anything about the fracking chemicals is because of the work of Theo Colborn … by chasing down trucks, combing through material safety data sheets, and collecting samples.”
Truth: Numerous states post this information freely: Pennsylvania, New York, and West Virginia to name a few, as well as Ground Water Protection Council and the U.S. Department of Energy. But in case you’re wondering, 99% of fracking fluid is water and sand. Only people who never bothered to actually do research on fracking would think that the only available information comes from chasing down trucks.
5. Gasland Lie: Fracking fluid consists of over 596 chemicals.
Lie: “In order to frack, you need some fracking fluid – a mix of over 596 chemicals.”
Truth: Any single fracturing job would only require a few of those chemicals. There are only a handful of additional chemicals added to the mix that aren’t water and sand. This is like saying every bottle of dish soap contains thousands of chemicals, on the basis that every brand and type of soap ever created may have used one of the thousands of different varieties of additives.
6. Gasland Lie: Josh Fox claims his family was offered a gas lease, which is what he claims is the reason he made the film.
Lie: Starting the film narrator’s quest to find out more about fracking, he leads viewers to believe that he was offered a gas lease.
Truth: Fox was not offered what he claimed. He cited information sent out by a landowner coalition in 2008, but the landowner coalition has stated that”was not a gas company lease. The coalition also said Fox was never a member of their group.
7. Gasland Lie: Fracking kills fish
Lie: Gasland shows images of a 35 mile stretch of land along Dunkard Creek in Washington Co., Pa. and attributes fish deaths to the effects of natural gas development.
Truth: The EPA released a report well before Gasland premiered that explained the death of animals in Dunkard Creek as a result of toxins from an algae bloom. It had nothing to do with fracking.
8. Gasland Lie: Fracking fluid will make your tap water flammable
Lie: In the movie Fox blames natural gas as the cause of a flammable faucet in Fort Lupton, Colorado.
Truth: According to the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission: “Dissolved methane in well water appears to be biogenic [naturally occurring] in origin. … There are no indications of oil & gas related impacts to water well.” In addition, there are certain areas in the United States that have reported flammable water since the 18th century. Once again, what Gasland blames on fracking actually had nothing to do with fracking.
9. Gasland Lie: Natural gas will put benzene in your body.
Lie: After an interview with the mayor of Dish, Texas, Fox connects benzene in civillians’ bloodstreams on natural gas development.
Truth: The Texas Department of State Health Services conducted a test in which they concluded that Dish, Texas residents’ exposure to “certain contaminants was not greater than that of the general U.S. population” and that “The only residents who had higher levels of benzene in their blood were smokers.” Health experts have repeatedly identified smoking as one of the largest sources of benzene exposure.