Is ‘fracking’ Obama’s next ‘job killing’ target?

Hollywood’s release of the new movie, “Promised Land,” starring Matt Damon and Josh Krasinski, brings awareness to the controversial natural gas drilling method known as “fracking.”

News of the movie’s inception began stirring the political pot several months ago, but the film’s Dec. 28 release sparked more controversy. According to recent news reports, one of the production companies involved in making the film is Imagination Abu Dhabi FZ, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Media.

Collider.com reports:

“Abu Dhabi Media is owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.  The United Arab Emirates is part of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).  For a movie about ulterior motives, it’s questionable to have even a superficial link to a company related to a country that has a vested interest in making sure that America can’t rely on its own natural resources.”

The term fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, refers to a drilling method that involves fracturing rock by blasting millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals into shale formations deep underground to release natural gas reserves.

According to EnergyInDepth.org, “the history of fracturing technology’s safe use in America extends all the way back to the Truman administration, with more than 1.2 million wells completed via the process since 1947.”

The Guardian’s Suzanne Goldenberg wrote that by 2015, the United States is expected to be the top global producer of natural gas because of the technique.

The growing debate, however, encompasses a plethora of issues, from public health concerns to private property rights.

Preventing drilling rigs, waste-injection wells or other gas and oil infrastructure from being placed near communities has become a mission for anti-fracking groups like Frackfree America.

A few dozen members of the organization held a protest in Youngstown, Ohio, to coincide with the movie’s release date, hoping to educate the public on what they deem is drilling’s negative side, according to WYTV news.

A Fox News Business anchor asked former Shell Oil CEO John Hofmeister to comment on concerns that the White House will use the next Environmental Protection Agency administrator to conduct a “war on fracking.”

Businesses are frustrated because they already have to adhere to strict zoning and other land-use regulations, and are now faced with fighting additional mandates from agencies like the EPA.

Hofmeister responded in the following clip:

 

As for the film, critics appear to be having a tough time separating the propaganda from the entertainment value to render a review. One film critic Drew Taylor of Moviefone  even admitted that on the movie’s “press day,” he was explicitly told by promoters told not to focus on the controversial subject matter.

Another critic, Jordan Magrath, noted the “one-sided” depiction of the issue:

Promised Land is far from flaming political propaganda. However, it’s also far from being free of a particular agenda. I’m personally very interested in rhetoric, but I believe both sides deserve a fair shot. This movie doesn’t give both sides a fair shake, and despite Matt Damon and John Krasinski’s thoughtful script (and subsequent performances), a pretty good twist, and initially-developed characters, the movie crams its politics down our throats. This much I can’t appreciate.

“Using film to advocate for one side of an issue or another is a tricky business,” critic Scott Tobias said. “‘If you want to send a message, try Western Union’ goes the famous Frank Capra quote.”

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About Michele Kirk

Michele Kirk is a writer, editor, and field reporter for BizPac Review. Michele can be reached at michele@bizpacreview.com & @michelekirkbpr

  • Albert

    The whackadoodle environuts just repeat the usual litany of talking points. Destroys health, property values, communities, the sky is falling, fracking will push your grandma off a cliff!!!! Please people just get a grip already. Drilling for oil and gas has been going on in my corner of Pennsylvania as well as worldwide since Drake hit oil in Titusville in 1859. Fracking is just another drilling technology. The truth is these anti-frackers are really anti-American. Not only is natural gas a much cleaner fuel than coal, diesel or gasoline, it is used to make plastics, fertilizers, textiles, medicines, paints, – in fact everything you touch all day long has natural gas byproducts. Your car, your cellphone, your computer, your shoes, aspirin, etc. The shale gas boom means high paying jobs, tax revenues, royalties for farmers, cheap energy, national security, energy independence and yes even a reduction in CO2 emissions. It is a win-win-win for us all and should encouraged.

    And just a little side note here, ETHANOL from corn is the worst idea ever! Not only does it increase food costs exponentially, it INCREASES CO2 emissions. Obviously the environuts skipped class to smoke some dope the day their high school science teacher covered the fermentation process. CO2 is emitted in huge amounts when making ethanol, not to mention the fuels used to grow, transport and cook the corn added to the CO2 when the ethanol is burned. And that is not to mention the 10% to 20% reduction in fuel economy when burning ethanol/gasoline blends. When you do the math and add it all up it is ridiculous to the extreme how much more CO2 is generated from the “green”, “sustainable” ethanol boondoggle.

    The environuts are the ultimate hypocrits when it comes to these kinds of issues because they want to shut down all the “dirty”, “greedy” industrial operations, but are the first to complain when the lights don’t come on or gas prices increase. I will listen to them when they go completely “off grid”, no electricity, no car, no cell phone, nothing. Then they can preach to the rest of us how we are supposedly killing the planet.

  • http://Bizpac Ted

    Bad part of the fracking argument is that you can find out you have problems years after the situation is too far gone to correct. Notice that many of these sites are way out of the public eye. Yes, that is where the gas is, but, since the deposit can go for hundreds of miles, it there is a problem with ground water or seismic changes, you can see the results right in the middle of where we all live. Some "funny" stuff going on too. In 2005, with the sponsorship of VP Cheney, of Halliburton fame, the industry got the capability of hiding what was exactly in those fracking fluids from the public, citing their need to keep the formulas secret from their rivals. Maybe from the public too. Keep your eye on the area withing 150 miles of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. There has been some fracking problems near Thermopolis and there seems to be some concern about the water supply system in the Wind River Range. Ask yourself if you are being informed of all aspects of this problem and what it will mean to you and your community. Will it affect your children and grandchildren? Energy independence, as nice as it would be, is at terrible cost if its wrapped in poison.

  • jill wiener

    Michelle,

    Before you next consider using "Energy in Depth" as a source of information of the purported safety and history of fracking you might want to check out this in depth PR Watch investigation into the history and financial backing of EID http://bit.ly/UhcluG. In other words asking EID for information about fracking is like asking the fox who is guarding the henhouse about the safety of the flock.

  • pete stubben

    yeah, Brad Pitt too! Both of 'em. Damon condemning America's cleanest and most abundant energy source, and Pitt condemning American business in his fool-hardy, despicable, disgraceful, boorish and just plain bad movie. Pitt did New Orleans a disservice filming this blob of a movie there, while Damon deserves an 'F' for failure & fatigue to make a movie just to condemn nat gas (& Barbra Streisand wasn't even in it!)

    Happy New Year, Michele!!!…PJS

  • Stan

    Perhaps Hofmeister is not familiar with the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act or the Safe Drinking Water Act. Hydrofracking is currently exempt from those acts that were designed to protect the public, and especially out water resources. With thousands of wells being fracked in many states, why shouldn't those federal laws apply to the gas industry the same way they apply to other industries and the rest of us? Also with water in such short supply in many areas of the country, and many sources of water shared by many states, particularly out west, how is this not a federal, interstate, topic and issue? Any jobs fracking may create are pointless if we do not ensure our water resources are protected and sustainable for generations first. This report is ridiculous.