State Dept. Promotes GasLand -- IPAA Response

February 13, 2012

Dear IPAA Members and Colleagues:

Last Friday, the U.S. Department of State announced that GasLand, the anti-natural gas "documentary," had been selected by the department as a special feature for international audiences as part of its "American Film Showcase" program. 

This program makes such movies and their producers/directors available worldwide for special events.

The Independent Petroleum Association of America -- especially through the Energy in Depth (EID) coalition -- has been the industry's leading voice against GasLand.  We have been on-the-record, confronting its director, Josh Fox, on hundreds of national news outlets like CNN, The Daily Show with John Stewart, MSNBC's The Dylan Ratigan Show and Rolling Stone.

When news of the State Department selection was announced by Politico newspaper last week, EID was once again asked for reaction (see article below).

The State Department's selection of GasLand is particularly disappointing because IPAA and EID have been working with the State Department on its Global Shale Gas Initiative -- working with foreign delegations on the economics and issues surrounding natural gas development.

To defend the industry against another publicity opportunity for GasLand, IPAA is:

Meeting with the State Department this afternoon to convey our grievances;
Working with leaders on Capitol Hill to make them aware of the State Department's actions; and
Coordinating with other trade associations to ensure the industry's position is fully conveyed to appropriate parties.

As always, we will keep you updated as this story develops.  Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have questions.  Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,

Barry Russell

President and CEO

 

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POLITICO

Frack this movie

By BOB KING | 2/10/12 3:54 PM EST

A week after being frog-marched in handcuffs from a congressional hearing, “Gasland” director Josh Fox has seen his anti-fracking documentary win a place in a State Department program aimed at highlighting American films for international audiences.

Fox’s Oscar-nominated film is one of 29 documentaries and fictional movies chosen for the American Film Showcase, which the department is running with the University of Southern California.

The program will bring the films “to foreign audiences through events worldwide,” including discussions with filmmakers, the department said.

Even Fox was surprised his movie made the cut.

“I didn’t think we stood a chance because of the State Department’s Global Shale Gas Initiative,” he said Friday. “I think it’s great that there’s balance.”

But the gas industry isn’t so thrilled.

“I must have missed the news about Roger Ebert taking up a post at State,” said Chris Tucker, of the industry publication Energy in Depth. “Obviously, this is disappointing, especially given the endless stream of obvious, admitted and yet uncorrected errors that pollute the film basically from start to finish.”

Kathryn Klaber, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, commented: “It is deeply disappointing and troubling that the State Department, which has been an otherwise effective advocate for the safe and responsible development of clean-burning natural gas development on the global stage, would promote such [a] distorted, discredited and agenda-driven film that is wholly unsupported by the facts."

Fox said the industry’s still in denial about the environmental problems caused by hydraulic fracturing. And he said it’s too late for gas companies to worry about the movie reaching a global audience.

“‘Gasland’ has been shown in at least 20 countries to at least 40 million people around the world,” he said.

Fox’s movie isn’t the only energy-themed documentary to make the list. The program also includes 2006’s “Who Killed the Electric Car” and its sequel, “Revenge of the Electric Car.”