The new Hollywood film about fracking, which stars Matt Damon, entitled “Promised Land” could tap into the growing grassroots rebellion against the technique which is slowly sweeping across America.
In the film Damon plays an energy company land agent sent to acquire leases in rural deprived communities.
In the trailer you can see the moral and environmental dilemma unfolding: Damon is a good guy working for the wrong side, who questions his own actions in the wake of contamination and pollution from fracking.
Set to open in New York City and Los Angeles later this month, it could ignite the already polarised debate.
The press are calling the showdown surrounding the film as “Big Drilling vs. Big Hollywood”.
Julia Walsh of Frack Action says: “We’re actually very excited that it’s coming out”.
Not surprising the oil industry is already out to trash the film. “Science, not scriptwriters, should be deciding the outcome in New York,” argues Jim Smith, spokesman for the state Independent Oil and Gas Association, the leading group lobbying for fracking in New York.
The leading oil industry lobby group, Energy in Depth, has put out a so-called “cheat sheet” of pro-fracking arguments to counter any bad publicity arising from the film.
The group has already attacked one of the actors, John Krasinski, who appeared on the Letterman show earlier this month, accusing him of “free-styling”, according to the Guardian.
It described an exchange regarding fracking as “a two-minute, fact-free explanation of a process about which neither participant proved to have any real, actual, discernible knowledge”.
In a blog post, Energy in Depth argues that: “What opponents have done, however, is undermine that good faith discussion by trying to convince landowners that the industry is only looking out for ‘profits’ and will pollute the water, cause earthquakes, and countless other problems. They have lodged accusations designed to secure headlines, and tragically, they have been very successful. ”
Some conspiracy theorists are even trying to discredit the film by arguing that because one of the production companies behind the film is funded by Image Nation Abu Dhabi, an investment company based in the United Arab Emirates, that somehow an evil oil nation is trying to scupper America’s homegrown industry.
The line is being peddled by America’s right-wing think tanks: “All of this suggests a direct financial interest on the U.A.E.’s part in slowing the development of America’s natural gas industry,” wrote Heritage Foundation’s Lachlan Markay recently.
Those peddling this nonsense also include pro-fracking Irish journalist, Phelim McAleer, who once produced an anti-Al Gore polemic called “Not evil, just wrong” and is now working on a pro-fracking film called “FrackNation”.
Don’t hold your breath though for an unbiased film by McAleer on fracking.
Think Progress once labelled McAleer a “disinformer and denier”, who had produced an “anti-environmental junk science movie”. There are apparently 9 errors just in the film’s trailer.