FrackNation vs. Gasland Part II- The Real Story

By: James Asbury
Dateline: Mansfield , PA
July 7, 2013

Gasland Part II played directly across 4th street in The Performing Arts Center from Genetti’s Hotel showing Frack-Nation in Williamsport, PA at the same time on Wednesday, June 19, 2013.

Hours after, the “grassroots” showing of FrackNation and Gasland Part II, HBO associates including their PR people were made available for a sit-down at the Bull Frog Brewery in Williamsport. The Drill’N Man was allowed to ask any questions and got the answers. Paul Harvey used to say on th4e radio: “And now for rest of the story”. And here it is.

Poster Fracknation vs Gasland Part II
Poster Fracknation vs Gasland Part II

Drill’n Man question: “The coincidental nearby location, the fact the films are at the same time, the two films use the same advertisement poster- the local writers taking heat from Fox. Isn’t this all just bull. . . .?”

“Of course it is” replied the PR man connected to HBO.

My question was inspired by the odd coincidence about how could these film makers maintain so much animosity between them while showing films down the street from each other at similar times and locations?

Both films have been able to survive by attacking each other . . . . . . .because it’s planned that way.

The HBO PR person would not give out full names or business cards, but we did find and confirm the fact they worked for HBO and are connected to promoting Gasland Part II.

To get attention requires conflict – Josh Fox refuses to talk to FrackNation creator Phelim McAleer direct in public- Fox denied movie goers, including Phelim, admittance to premiere of Gasland Part II’s at the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC on Sunday, April 21, 2013 at the 3:30 PM showing in the SVA Theater.

The story made major headlines and was shown on major TV news channels as well as discussed on talk radio. A source who attended the Tribeca Film Fest stated it appeared the ruckus, which ensued as soon as the Dimock contingent got off their bus, was staged by Phelim McAleer. Others firmly believe if there had not been any screaming and shouting, there would have been no reason for security to deny them access to the movie. Other pro-hydraulic fracturing attendees entered without any problems into the theater where the Gasland Part II movie was being shown.

But Josh Fox or his people seemed to have more than willing to preview parts of Gasland Part II and work with FrackNation on some level; sharing advertising with the contrasting film in headlines and social media.

Using another HBO success story as an example, the HBO PR man referred to a storyline in HBO’s popular mini-series, Band of Brothers, a WW2 film inspired by the 101st Airborne Easy Company.

“What if the Allies had landed and the Nazis retreated back to Germany without putting up a fight?” he added “Conflict is necessary in a movie. It gives validity to the story line; without conflict, there is no story, no movie”.

Drill’n Man media consulted P.R. marketing agents including Kross – a veteran company who worked on many high profile accounts including presidential campaigns.

“This is highly irregular”- Said Bill, a PR man with Kross. “I can’t see PR people from different campaigns working together. Professionally there is respect; I’ve had lunch with political opponents, even cooperated on some efforts…but no undercover nonsense.”
What we have here is at least one if not two cases of narcissistic Hollywood types going at each other for personal publicity”.

“It’s about money- you must disconnect yourself from the message. You are paid to write promotional stories” said the contact- Films and major corporations are all about making profits.

Gasland and Gasland Part II made and will make millions of dollars. The films must constantly stay relevant when -“Most headlines have at the most a 10 day life span.”
Essentially Gasland II relies on conflict between the tow producers to keep it in the headlines.
“Josh Fox making a killing on this” said the HBO contact, leaning into the conversation for emphasis, with his demanding up $16,000 for a personal appearance where he eventually breaks out and plays his banjo. The source didn’t believe a dime of Fox’s profits would be donated clean up the earth.

FrackNation will air July 10th on AXS TV, the day after Gasland II is scheduled to play on HBO.

“Of course the timing is relevant,” Cuban, an owner of the network told The Hollywood Reporter. “We want people talking and using AXS TV when they watch and discuss it.”

Strange Bedfellows

Both films would have fallen off the radar by non if it were not for the constant bickering and drama between Josh Fox and Phelim McAleer and seem to thrive on confronting each other for validity. Some film goers are naive to think differently. Both pictures use a formula for drama and addiction. Emotionally driven arguments create a dependent audience with fans who know nothing of the industry outside the movies themselves. Facts outside those illustrated by the two filmmakers are lost on the masses.

Industry observers and movie critics of this eerie spectacle are telling Drill’N Man-News “Enough is enough already” and are sick and tired of covering the films as well as the subject in general.

People in the oil and gas industry know their jobs are not going away. Many experts from both sides agree all political figures, no matter their individual ideologies, will consent to drilling for the same reason people make movies – financial gain.

From this story a new movement has emerged. People within the industry say it’s time to bring things back to reality. Some of these pro and con-hydraulic fracturing movies are made by TV people for what they thought was a controversial subject. They would promptly be walked over to the frac’ pit and having to point where the drain plug is located for doing shallow research on the subject of hydraulic fractuting in pre-production.

Those close to Josh Fox and Phelim McAleer expressed to Drill’N Man Media how unhappy they are with their combined lack of oilfield knowledge. The real oilfield story is missing from these films. Sadly Josh Fox and Phelim McAleer are playing patty cake with each other in a mock drama of mediocrity.

The real news is overlooked- news impacting working men and women and our national energy security. While these two globe trotters post videos on YouTube and trying to turn the spotlight on them, the industry continues to make progress.

Let’s move on and get to work to make the US proud and energy secure once again from countries with hostile governments, who are against our way of life.

Media Memory, Oh Man it’s Gotten Cheap

The first time I bought memory was on the eve of my first trip to China in January of 2001.

My 2.1 megapixel Canon Digital Elph which was a killer deal at the time at $430. A truly exceptional camera. My prints from this and other trips were eventually shown in a gallery in Kirkland, Washington.

Even then I knew then that memory was too expensive, I had no choice. I bought a single 128mb Compact Flash card for $120 plus tax. That’s a per-gigabyte cost of $1,055. Way I saw it, it was still cheaper than film with exceptional quality, even then. Continue reading Media Memory, Oh Man it’s Gotten Cheap

Phelim We Hardly Knew Ye!

Opinion Article

Bakken Oil Business Journal
“Phelim We Hardly Knew Ye”

By: Bob van der Valk
Dateline: Terry, Montana

Roughnecks in Montana
Roughnecks in Montana
June 27, 2013

This opinion article deals with FrackNation as a pro-hydraulic fracturing for oil & gas documentary. Comments, other than my own, were made by individual landowners in the Pennsylvania area where the controversy about hydraulic fracturing had its inception.

Bob van der Valk

FrackNation’s Phelim McAleer has been able to hit Josh Fox’s Gasland and Gasland Part II movies with his best shot making his points about hydraulic fracturing not being the cause for underground water contamination. Neither is the methane produced by the drilling process resulted in any of the health problems purportedly suffered by land owners where the drilling has been done.

For the last two years Phelim McAleer has made it his life’s calling chasing Josh Fox around the country peppering him with embarrassing questions about ridiculous charges being made in the original Gasland movie. Gasland was nominated for an Oscar as the Best Documentary of 2010. Most, if not all, of the charges made by emotionally and financially driven opponents to hydraulic fracturing drilling for natural gas have been debunked by Federal and State agencies, which became involved by reacting to the public attention Gasland initially received.

Recently Phelim McAleer has been showing his FrackNation up against Gasland Part II. This is leading up to the HBO-TV premiere of Gasland Part II on July 9, 2013. FrackNation will be shown again on AXS-TV July 10, 2013 both of them will get high viewer ship for both cable channels.

Poster Fracknation vs Gasland Part II
Poster Fracknation vs Gasland Part II

What has been lost in this conversation about hydraulic fracturing is the US becoming energy secure once again from having to import crude oil from countries with governments hostile to our way of life. Neither Josh Fox nor Phelim McAleer have oil industry experience and are continuing this unnecessary raucous to promote themselves.

Sherry Hart

After the Binghamton, New York, February 10, 2013 showing of FrackNation a question was asked by Craig Stephens addressing Phelim McAleer, the producer of FrackNation, about the December 15, 2010 “Dimock Consent Order and Settlement Agreement” (COSA):

http://files.dep.state.pa.us/OilGas/OilGasLandingPageFiles/FinalCO&A121510.pdf

Similar to what has happened since the beginning of the Dimock saga, the actual contents and findings of the COSA frequently get` overlooked while pro-drillers and drilling opponents continue to banter with each other about the water being poisoned, no it wasn’t, etc. Phelim’s brief answer to Cabot’s move to settle was that it was a case of corporate business as usual and happens all the time. Partly true, but anyone who has been following the Carter Road allegations and its resulting mounds of paperwork and legal filings for the last couple of years are familiar with a few things above and beyond his answer:

The PA DEP claimed identification of the migrating gas as being from Cabot’s wells primarily using “presumptive guilt”, based only on proximity to the well, and explains their findings in a the original COSA dated November 4,2009 (http://www.marcellus-shale.us/pdf/Cabot_Consent-Order_11-4-09.pdf) which states starting in January 2009 PA DEP collected samples from water wells providing water to 13 homes which showed elevated levels of dissolved methane as well as identified combustible gas in the headspaces of seven of those water wells.

After the COSA was established, Cabot hired an independent consultant to perform a separate investigation. According to a review of data on the same exact wells determined to be problematic by PA DEP, Robert W. Watson, Ph.D./P.E. and Associate Professor Emeritus of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering and Environmental Systems Engineering, etc. concluded that Cabot was using procedures for drilling, casing and cementing wells even at that time which met or exceeded the requirements of the Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Act, were adequate to protect the drinking water, and which did not cause or allow methane migration into the drinking water. (http://www.cabotog.com/pdfs/Dr_Bob_Watson_WhitePaper_101010.pdf – page 2 and again in the Conclusion on page.

Based upon those findings, and mostly those findings alone, because all of the water supplies were within 1,300 or less feet of a Cabot well and because those wells were drilled within the preceding six months, PA regulations deem a determination of guilt can be made. (page 3-4, articles J-K): The Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Act: A Summary of Statutory Provisions dated March 2009, Section 208: Protection of Water Supplies (58 P.S. § 601.208) (page 4) states, in part, “There is a refutable presumption that a polluted water supply located within 1,000 feet of a well is caused by the well.” http://law.psu.edu/_file/aglaw/SummaryOfPennsylvaniaOilAndGasAct.pdf This Summary was written prior to pre-drill tests becoming mandatory, which if anything could well be the most important lesson learned in Dimock.
Other information that could be pertinent is in the legal filings of the lawsuit itself:
1) The Dimock litigants fired their original lawyer when another better known litigation firm offered to take them on as clients. They walked out leaving $650,294.18 in legal fees unpaid. 2) When the revised COSA was finalized, settlement amounts of the plaintiffs totaled $2,234,160. (2011-11-30 2010 COSA Settlement amounts.jpg). Amounts of the settlement varied depending on individual property appraisals. These funds were put into an escrow account to be claimed by December of last year. There were no restrictions put on this money; it was free for them to collect and they could still continue with their lawsuit and water deliveries would continue. (2011-12-16 DEP and Cabot Rev Consent Order and Settlement Agreement.PDF)
3) Their original lawyer caught wind of this settlement and put a lien on the escrow account for the outstanding fees the litigants had not paid. (2011-01-12 Motion to demand fired attorneys fee.pdf)
4) All those persons within the determined effected area and not involved in the lawsuit, claimed their money. None of the litigants did because doing so would mean paying their first lawyer. This got muddled in their lies of how Cabot was forcing them to sign non-disclosure agreements and quit the lawsuit… all of which is written into the contract that the money is theirs – no restrictions on it.
5) In August, most of the litigants settled, but do have to abide by a gag order regarding the settlement amounts or findings. Also, the money contained in the escrow account set up per the COSA goes back to Cabot. Thus Dan Dinges statement, “The aggregate value of the settlements are not a material item with respect to Cabot’s financial statements,” (statement found in the Philly.com article referenced below.) I believe there is currently only one remaining holdout, Ray Kemble, who spoke to the Philadelphia Inquirer soon after the settlement offers were made and accepted by the majority of the litigants. He mentions what his settlement offer was and it appears it was pretty close to the same amount originally offered him in the COSA. (Per Philly.com: http://articles.philly.com/2012-08-27/news/33403570_1_susquehanna-county-town-cabot-oil-baby-drill) “Kemble is angry at just about everybody – Cabot, regulators, his own lawyers, and his ex-wife, who accepted the settlement, thereby reducing the amount offered to him. He said he would only see $79,000 from the deal, after legal fees.” His ex-wife was entitled to half the amount offered, thus twice the amount Kemble states he was offered is $158,000. Originally the COSA provided for a settlement offer of $185,712.00.
6) Thus, it appears the litigants were offered just slightly less the amount originally offered without having to access the funds that had liens on them, probably due to lawyer’s cuts, etc. Settlement discussions began soon after the third set of water test results were released showing, once again, the water tested within acceptable drinking water standards.
This is why Phelim’s response fell far short and was merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Robin Fehrenbach Scala

Are you hearing that Phelim is actually on the other side? Or is it a setup so both can profit from the argument and their respective films? Having met and argued with Josh Fox even before his film came out, I know he is a liar and expect no truth to ever come from his mouth.

It was later that I was contacted by Magdalena Segieda, who is the Director and Producer of FrackNation, in an effort to find people in my area who were drilled and would talk on camera for the film. I met her first and we made some initial contacts, then Phelim and the film crew came out and spent a whole day in my house getting possible scenes with me and Sherry Hart talking about our issues and showing us working the boards and contacting landowners and politicians. (Of all those hours we appear for exactly 2 seconds maybe, which we were happy about).

HBO is trying to justify their financial backing of Gasland and Part II (and Fox in general) so it seems like a good time to spread information, which could be used against Phelim or make him seem like he is just as bad as Fox.

I also provided money to be executive producer and was involved from before the film was a film. There IS one way to prove who is right, and that is to follow the money. If HBO is really paying for ANYTHING they could prove it. But they won’t. I trust HBO less than a guy sitting on a street corner with a hat waiting for spare change. Ask them to prove it. They can’t.

By the way, HBO DOES NOT put up those posters. Phelim does and has since the beginning. It started from his first argument with Josh, where he asked if Josh knew about methane being in the water since the dawn of time, and Josh said, “It is not relevant”
Game On!
Now Phelim makes sure that if Gasland Part II is being shown, FrackNation is also being shown in the same town, biting at the bit for the debate with Josh, but there’s no point holding his breath!
At least HBO did not pay for FrackNation or any part of it or any advertising for it. They DID pay for Gasland and Part II and are now sucking eggs over it.

I never read the account about the arrest of the Julia Mineeva, the former Russian TV anchor, at the premiere of Gasland Part II or if her arrest for trespassing was a set up. I do know that Josh Fox set up his own arrest (complete with his cameras rolling) at a committee hearing in the House of Representatives so he could use it in Gasland Part II.

The only reason I feel I can stand up for Phelim (though I could be wrong…it is always possible to be wrong) is due to his behavior on all other occasions where I have been with him or them, watching how they react.

See, I am the type who would make the movie and then go broke because I did not attempt to make money for travel and distribution. The movie would then be a waste of time and investor money.
I would hope that Phelim is making SOME kind of money so he does not go broke (as I would, which is stupid) trying to get the word out.
If anyone is being a money hog and pretending to actually care, it is Josh Fox, who will admit it to anyone everywhere except when asked during a screening.

Being a landowner in PA and NY, I felt like I hit the lottery when Phelim and company contacted me to help make the movie. I had no way to educate the public on my own and attempts to find a spokesperson died after speaking to an agent for an hour while finding out what it would cost to get the person I wanted.

Bob van der Valk

FrackNation exposed Josh Fox for the publicity seeker he is. The oil industry needs to have a serious discussion about the urban lies being spread by the likes of Josh Fox. Phelim did a good job on FrackNation and accomplished just that. He is a journalist and should have stuck to bringing out the true facts about hydraulic fracturing. But we need an independent journalist to tell the true story on how to go about making the US energy secure. The next frontier will be in California with the Monterey Shale Formation coming into play. Their potential reserves of oil & gas is 3 times bigger than Marcellus, Eagle Ford & the Bakken combined.

Robin Fehrenbach Scala

You just explained your position so it makes total sense to me. Phelim has become the story.

Thanks for continuing our conversation until I could “get it”.

Bob van der Valk

God bless the USA!

This editorial was written with the assistance and input of:
James Asbury – Mansfield, Pennsylvania
Robin Fehrenbach Scala – Factoryville, Pennsylvania
Sherry Hart – Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania

Disclosure: Bob van der Valk, Robin Fehrenback Scala and Sherry Hart donated funds to the Kickstarter program and are credited as Executive Producers of FrackNation. Bob van der Valk is the Managing Editor of the Bakken Oil Business Journal and can be contacted at: editor@bakkenoilbiz.com

Search Engine Scandal; Google Auto-Completes Your Racism

Google offers an Auto-Complete feature. You start your search, they suggest what you might want to see, based on what others have searched… and Google thinks you’re a huge racist.

I searched almost every country in the world and what I found was… well, it was interesting to say the least. I wouldn’t go as far as to say “informative”, but it definitely speaks to prejudices, pre-conceived notions and bigotry-at-large. Continue reading Search Engine Scandal; Google Auto-Completes Your Racism

Arrested Development: Back and Awesome

This week Netflix premiered the 7-year anticipated fourth season of Arrested Development, and there was much rejoicing.

The entire central cast is back, and it would seem all the ancillary characters returned as well, including Liza Minnelli (who looks honestly hotter than she did seven years ago, somehow,) Scott Baio (who likewise hasn’t aged a day,) Carl Weathers (reprising his absurd, self-deprecating role as “Carl Weathers”,) and too many more to mention. Continue reading Arrested Development: Back and Awesome

Anti-Tax Crusaders Shocked IRS Would Question Them

Tea Party political activity groups, known for their hardline anti-tax position, were singled out by the IRS for scrutiny.

“It’s crazy,” says anti-tax crusader and Wisconsin Tea Party head Colin Felcher. I can’t imagine a single reason why they’d think we’re against paying taxes.

Unofficial IRS spokesman Davis Kaeng, who works by day as an official IRS spokesman, agreed to speak with us on the condition of anonymity, but also that we use his real name and record the conversation. Continue reading Anti-Tax Crusaders Shocked IRS Would Question Them

Should Gay Marriage Be Allowed Nationwide: Mrp Meh!

In case you’re wondering, that’s the sound of someone agreeing… or disagreeing, it doesn’t matter. The line has gotten so muddied that we all might as well be on both sides of the debate.

So should gay marriage be allowed, or should we leave it to they tyranny of individual states to make a majority decision that only affects the narrowest of minority, if not the straight-and-narrowest. Continue reading Should Gay Marriage Be Allowed Nationwide: Mrp Meh!

West Coast Gasoline Pump Prices To Soar Before Memorial Day

Dateline: Terry, Montana
May 10, 2013 – 6 pm MDT
By: Bob van der Valk

This is “The End” for any hope of gasoline prices on the West Coast, specifically Southern California, before Memorial Day. Today’s AAA Fuel Gauge for Los Angeles-Long Beach showed the average gasoline price already over $4 per gallon. The two major oil company refinery upsets in Southern California this afternoon will result in spike for gasoline prices starting on Monday with retail pump prices expected to hit $4.25 per gallon. The remainder of the West Coast including the Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest gasoline prices will follow suit.

The CononoPhillips 76 refinery in Wilmington reported flaring this afternoon. Then the kicker came in the form of the ExxonMobiil refinery suffering a “power bump” putting their Fluid Catalytic Cracker (FCC) unit out of business.

ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance, CA 5-10-13
ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance, CA 5-10-13

Because of it the ExxonMobill was flaring Friday afternoon at its 149,000 b/d refinery in Torrance, Calif., with the shut down of their FCC unit, which had been kept running while other units in the refinery were going through a planned turnaround. Now all of the units at this refinery are down.

The FCC is out of service and the refinery is flaring,

The refinery issued an unplanned flaring notification to the South Coast Air Quality Management this afternoon citing a breakdown. The flaring event began at 2 p.m. PDT and is expected to end before midnight.

ExxonMobil began a large-scale, multi-week turnaround May 3 on Torrance’s lone crude unit, an alkylation unit, a delayed coker unit, a sulfur recovery unit and a hydrotreater.

“Although we anticipate impact to production, ExxonMobil expects to be able to meet its contractual commitments,” a company spokesperson previously said about the planned maintenance.

The fluid catalytic cracker was not involved in the turnaround and had been operating via gasoil feed stored in railcars before a power glitch affected the unit.

Late Friday afternoon David Dumais, deputy fire chief of Torrance Fire Department, confirmed the following by phone.

* Upset occurred during maintenance turnaround,
*Refinery started turnaround this month on units including crude unit, alkylation unit, coker, hydrogen
plant on May 2, 2013.

Any or all of the above article can be re-published with proper attribution to the author and the Bakkken Oil Business Journal.

Feel free to contact me for updated information.

Bob van der Valk
Managing Editor
Bakken Oil Business Journal
Terry, Montana
(406) 853-4251
editor@bakkenoilbiz.com

Kyoto Protocol – What Has It Achieved? (INFOGRAPHIC)

With the Kyoto Protocol’s expiration in 2012, InfoProductReview.org have taken CO2 emissions data from the UN and PBL to assess its impact so far. Sadly, the data shows that while there have been more successes that failures amongst nations with Kyoto targets, global emissions as a whole have continued to soar.

This guest story comes from Jamie Rose, an artist and part-time green activist concerned with global climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. Continue reading Kyoto Protocol – What Has It Achieved? (INFOGRAPHIC)

Should Ecstasy Be Legalized? Counterpoint Debate

There are many drugs terrorizing our nation, from low-cost heroine and crack to high-potency crystal meth. One drug equally vilified that gets a bit less attention is Ecstasy, known by its chemical name MDA or MDMA.

MDMA was first synthesized by Merck in 1912 to stop abnormal bleeding. It didn’t work in that capacity and was quickly abandoned, left for history to rediscover. Continue reading Should Ecstasy Be Legalized? Counterpoint Debate