From Creators of Pro-Fracking ‘Truth Land’ Comes Pro-Fracking ‘The Real Promised Land’
Because making one online video response to an anti-fracking movie is never enough, the Independent Petroleum Association of America’s public relations firm has released a series of pro-hydraulic fracturing and natural gas vignettes they’re calling “The Real Promised Land.”
The videos, whose titles play on the new Matt Damon movie Promised Land, which arrived in theaters this past weekend, features a series of people from three states—including Pennsylvania—who’ve benefited from the sweet, sweet nectar that is natural gas from the shattered earth.
It’s the second time the gas industry’s international PR firm, Energy In Depth, has created such a project to combat anti-fracking worries in the media. (The first, “Truthland,” was a response to filmmaker Josh Fox’s Academy Award-nominated documentary Gasland, which came out in 2010.) The vignettes from Pennsylvania focus on the boon to local businesses, such as a trout hatchery and hotel that have thrived in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania since the gas boom.
“With the most recent recession, we haven’t even known there’s been a recession,” says trout hatchery owner Dr. Daniel Williams, who’s interviewed in front of a water cooler and with a stethoscope around his neck. “The amount of economic activity, job availability, people who have the availability to go to work on a regular basis has dramatically improved. I think there’s a lot of general excitement in the community.”
According to StateImpact Pennsylvania, a reporting project of National Public Radio focused on Pennsylvania’s shale gas industry, there are currently 74 gas drilling operators conducting business throughout the state. They’ve drilled 8,982 wells in 38 counties around the state and have received massive support from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett.
Promised Land is a fictionalized account of two salespeople who travel to an economically depressed rural town looking to lease out land for drilling. The gas industry’s new videos (and related “fact sheets”) comprised a pre-emptive strike against the Hollywood film, which so far has received mediocre-to-bad reviews, including one from PW’s Sean Burns, which calls the film’s third act “jaw-droppingly stupid and illogical, negating what little goodwill we were able to hunt for here before.”
Meanwhile, Josh Fox is said to be working on a follow-up to Gasland.