Coming Soon: FrackNation

Phelim McAleer and his wife Ann McElhinney are journalists and documentary filmmakers. You may remember Not Evil Just Wrong (2009), their takedown of Al Gore and Global Warming hysteria.


Now they want to tell the truth about natural gas development and hydraulic fracturing in a full-length documentary titled FrackNation. McAleer says:

FrackNation will skeptically examine some of the scarier claims made by anti-fracking activists and look at how shale gas is helping some of the poorest communities in the US and potentially across the planet. It will feature small farmers, the working class and others who are benefiting from this economic boom. We will look at the backgrounds and motives of those opposing fracking.

[Click here to see the producers’ Kickstarter pitch for the project. (2:53)]

FrackNation will go head-to-head with GasLand II, Josh Fox’s planned sequel to GasLand (2010), the highly effective anti-gas propaganda piece. With scant concern for earth science and demonstrable fact, GasLand earned an Academy Award nomination and stirred up anti-fracking hysteria nationwide with its memorable footage of flaming faucets. PBS and HBO will jointly bankroll Gasland II to the tune of $750,000. It is set to air on HBO this fall.

Here’s how you can fight back: To tell their grassroots tale, McAleer, McElhinney and co-producer Magda Segieda will rely on grassroots financing. The website provides a fundraising platform for creative projects. FrackNation‘s goal is a modest $150,000.


For as little as $1.00, you can support a professional, fact-based counterargument to GasLand II. $20 donors will receive a copy of the DVD upon release. All donors will be named executive producer of the project.

But why fracking?

In 2011, McAleer called out Josh Fox, quite publicly, for conveniently neglecting to tell GasLand‘s audience that flammable methane in groundwater is unrelated to gas development, and in fact predates gas development in Colorado, New York, and Pennsylvania. The Colorado Oil and Gas Commission looked into the claims in their state and concluded that the gas was “biogenic” in origin (i.e., naturally-occurring shallow gas, and not deep gas-well gas). Fox dismissed those reports as “not relevant”:


Fox and his attorneys had the video above shut down for a time on both youtube and vimeo. The attempt at suppression inspired Phelim and Ann in their current project.

Josh Fox is an intelligent man must be quite aware that he is  pandering to the fears of the people. Radical environmentalists see cheap natural gas as the #1 threat to the development of wind, solar and other alternative forms of energy. By playing fast and loose with the facts, they can mobilize public sentiment against gas development.


That’s why it’s important and timely to counter those arguments with facts and reason.

“Normally, Kickstarter projects are pro-radical environmentalism,” said McAleer.  “FrackNation will be the first documentary funded through Kickstarter to challenge the environmental establishment.  It will appeal to the workers and small farmers who know the truth, but never see it represented in modern documentaries.”

Fundraising began quietly on Monday, with a full press campaign due on Tuesday. As of this writing [Tuesday morning], a total of nearly $7,500 $14,600, 5% ~10% of the goal, had already been achieved. [Updated 5:00 pm ET, 2/7. – Ed.]

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