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Ohio Utica Shale

Earthworks says 'Promised Land' is no fairy tale

By Bob Downing Published: January 4, 2013

A press release received today from Earthworks, an environmental group:

The new movie Promised Land is no fairy tale.

Matt Damon film understates oil and gas company misbehavior, unintentionally highlights need for stronger oversight

Statement of Earthworks Executive Director Jennifer Krill

Jan 4 -- The new film Promised Land -- opening today -- is bringing welcome attention to the issue of irresponsible oil and gas development. The sad truth is that Promised Land is no fairy tale.

The movie turns on the amoral and unethical behavior of a fracking/drilling company, and the landmen that try to convince citizens to lease their property for drilling.

We can tell you from experience that Promised Land understates the depths to which some companies are willing to stoop. In fact, fracking company representatives have told us so.

In 2011, at an industry conference intended to burnish the industry’s tarnished public image, our colleague Sharon Wilson recorded a “public relations” representative of a fracking company recommending the use of the U.S. Army’s counterinsurgency manual against American citizens. At the same conference, another industry PR rep boasted of their employment of ex-military psychological operations personnel and their use of psyops tactics in gasfield communities.

Promised Land is a cautionary tale and I encourage everyone to see it. It has top-notch actors, great dialogue, beautiful scenery, and a plot twist.

And then as you leave the theater, remember that in order to protect communities and the environment from the corporate behavior Promised Land shows, we need much stronger oversight of oil and gas development, from top to bottom. And that means, for a start, closing the loopholes in federal environmental laws that give the oil and gas companies an unfair advantage.

We need to be honest about the risks of oil and gas fracking, to our air, water and healthy communities. Our new year’s resolution is to give the story of communities faced with oil and gas drilling a happier ending.

More Information:



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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.