Irish brawler McIlhenny brings ‘FrackNation’ to the screen

At the 35th Annual Heritage Foundation Resource Bank held in Colorado Springs, Nationally renowned documentary filmmaker Ann McElhinney spoke to attendees about her latest project called “FrackNation.” Her documentary tells the truth about fracking and responds to the propaganda-laden blatant lies and misrepresentations and pure rubbish meant to terrify people about fracking in the film “Gasland,” funded by HBO. FrackNation” was filmed throughout the United States and Poland in areas where hydraulic fracturing, a way to extract natural gas from miles underneath the seabed, has been banned or is already happening. “Gasland” created concerns about the safety of fracking and was then used, much like a political cudgel, as the basis to ban fracking in many places, all based on unscientific, false claims and manipulation of reality.

McElhinney, who grew up in Ireland, but now resides in America, is well known for her production of other documentaries which debunked hysteria from environmentalists. One which focuses on the mining industry, is called “Mine Your Own Business.” That film exposes “The Darkside of Environmentalism.” And shows how environmentalists, from their lofty condos, deny the poor an opportunity to better themselves by denying them the opportunity for work. It is naïve to believe these people want to take away one form of energy and replace it with another. They want to take away America’s energy forever. Why might they want this? You see, people with access to secure, affordable sources of energy are free to create their own destinies. They have no need for reallocation of resources, social planning and recommendations from those that know better.

McElhinney showed the crowd of over 600 many clips from their filming all around the country. Many of these clips left the crowd speechless. She had interviews with farmers in upstate New York that have had farms in their family for five generations, farmers who ‘know every blade of grass’ on their land, who are being prevented from allowing extraction of their own natural gas under their own land. One farmer commented that “If the gas industry is not allowed in, I will have to divide my land and sell it for development. My son wants to farm, but he had to get a job in the city. I won’t be able to keep it for him.”

Essentially, the gas company is ready to hand over a check to these property owners for the privilege of extracting gas from their land, but outsiders are preventing these private property owners from doing what they wish with their own land. She also showed a clip from a dairy farmer in Calicoon, NY, who has been campaigning to lift the New York state ban on fracking. Such moratoriums and bans have damaged the lives of thousands of people who are now desperate to have their voices heard, FrackNation will allow that to happen.

She spoke about a group started by citizens in Dimock, Pennsylvania called “Enough Already.” ‘Enough Already’ means, enough with the negativity! Members who have had water wells on their land since the 1940s simply want to clear up the fact that the water in many parts of Dimock was always crap and has nothing to do with the gas being extracted. Some families have been able to lease small parts of their farms for gas production and receive royalties, which allows farmers to keep the farms intact and pass them onto their children.

One of the most revealing clips she shared with the crowd though, was when they attended a Q&A with Josh Fox, the director of Gasland. In the film, the “money scene” is one in which a man puts a match to his faucet water, and it lights on fire. The reason put forth in the film is that this is due to fracking going on in the area. But in fact, this was caused by naturally occurring methane in the water. Josh Fox purposely portraying this occurrence as if it was an unnatural incident and that fracking brought it on. McElhinney told us about towns in America dating back hundreds of years called “burning springs” which get their name from the natural gas which bubbled up through the springs and would burn when lit due to an abundance of naturally occurring methane in the ground.

The video showed when they confronted Josh Fox at a Q&A with this fact, that they were attempting to freak people out with this image which was inaccurate, and he admitted that he knew people could always light their water on fire. They then asked him whether it wasn’t his journalistic responsibility to include this fact in his film. Fox went on to say that the reason he didn’t include this point in his film is because this fact, according to him, it is “irrelevant.” Yet because of this film, fracking has been banned all over the globe including in places like Africa, where people are starving because they are too poor to access their own gas reserves, and ultimately, chart their own course in life.

McElhinney’s presentation was also important because it reiterated the fact that anything that isn’t “next year’s technology”, in other words, anything that actually works, is unacceptable. It took the environmentalists a mere decade to go from ‘Hey, let’s save the trees’ to ‘Hey, let’s cut down thousands of square miles of trees, with no intent of replanting and install my solar cells and windmills there.’ Just a few years ago wind and solar were glorified and sacrosanct, but now, just a few years later, when such energy forms are easily and affordably available in a big way, the green lobby is wagging their fists in the air, expressing their displeasure and trying to shut them down. There is now increasing resistance to wind power all along the U.S. east coast and solar plants in deserts in California’s Mojave Desert are stalled due to politicians snuffing out some 13 big solar plants and wind farms planned for the region. They demand we move away from yucky old coal and nasty oil, scary radioactive nuclear power, and set up windmills and solar farms. But just try it and like clockwork, the lawsuits start to fly.

The modus operandi of environmentalists is to be stalwart true believers of innovative new energy technologies just until they become technologically and economically achievable at a meaningful scale. Then they sue.

It becomes obvious to me that much like the theory that people only want that which they can’t have, the environmentalists don’t actually care about the environment at all. Given its greenhouse gas benefits, environmentalists initially welcomed shale gas, but now that it’s happening, they are throwing hissyfits because that may potentially rattle their tactics to ruin trade, wipe out commerce and dismantle capitalism, wrecking their endless crusade to diddle with private property and free enterprise by and large through government force.

Even more sinister is the fact they most of these groups have government money to sustain their organizations, which turn around and sue the government when private property owners go through the hoops of dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s’. They then use this money and power given to them by the government to ruin other people’s lives. Members of the environmental industrial complex fight among themselves. One hand deftly tries to seduce the government into handing out buckets of money to subsidize their favored “alternative” cause of the year, while the other hand works at outlawing last years crafty “alternative.”

Ms. McElhinney concluded her presentation with some wisdom for the masses that was truly on point. She reflected on how within the conservative movement there are so many organizations, so many factions, all so passionate about their “thing,” or cause. Many of these groups share the same goals, to allow freedom to thrive, yet instead of working together, they tend to be excessively competitive. I couldn’t agree more. McElhinney raised every dollar to make and produce the film through individual small donors through the crowd-sourcing website Kickstarter. Soon she will attempt to raise enough money to get the film appropriately distributed. I encourage anyone who is interested in America becoming more energy independent to donate a few bucks to these great freedom fighters by visiting their site at FrackNation.

Freeman Dyson, Professor Emeritus of Mathematical Physics and Astrophysics at the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton and a member of the Global Warming Policy Foundation’s Academic Advisory Council had a poetic way of encouraging the world give gas a chance. Having grown up in England during the heyday of coal, he said, “Coal is a yellow foulness in the air. Gas is the soft purring of the fire in a cozy nursery.”

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