Gasland Part II Reviewed

Gasland Part II, a sequel to “Gasland “, was released 28 June (a limited release according to Rotten Tomatoes).  It carries the same theme that fracking is bad. The documentary “stars” are Josh Fox, the director and Dennis Kucinich, former US Representative from Ohio. Can’t imagine that Kucinich is going to bring people into the theater.   The documentary has not yet appeared in the “Box Office” top 50 grossing films. reviewed the documentary with it’s posting “Gasland II: Muddying a Fractured Debate”.   The reviewer tries to play it down the middle saying that the movie and the movies critics tend to go over the top.  But he writes this:

Gasland II is chock-full of errors and falsehoods. Some might be unintentional (Fox readily admits that he’s a “theater guy,” not an engineer or chemist), but at least one seems to be a case of deceit. At one point, Fox throws up a graph purportedly showing the high rate of cement casing failures in fracking wells. Its steeply ascending red bars make for an alarming picture, and as he triumphantly explains, “[gas companies’] own documents showed that cement encasings failed in five percent of wells immediately upon drilling, and that the failure rate increased over time; that over a thirty year period, fifty percent of wells failed.” But the caption to the graph, barely visible in the film explains that it’s showing sustained casing pressure (SCP), a condition that can lead to cement casing failure. Worse, the graph showed the SCP only for offshore wells, explicitly stating, “[t]hese data do not include wells in state waters or land locations,” a fact conveniently left out of the film.

This is only one of many errors, and already we’re seeing pushback, not just from industry groups keen to defend themselves from Fox’s accusations and others whom we might expect to object to the movie’s premise, but also from the likes of the left-leaning blog Daily Kos, which doesn’t have much skin in the game.

Clicking on the links in the preceding paragraph provides additional reviews of this documentary.

The reviewer cites the Dimock, Pa case where he believes  Fox does have a  real case but that Fox overstates it.

The reviewer moves on to a book by Michael Levi titled The Power Surge: Energy, Opportunity, and the Battle for America’s Future that he believes is a balanced assessment of fracking.   According to the reviewer:

Levi has the science chops to get in to the energy weeds when he needs to, having studied physics at Queen’s University and Princeton University. For example, he deftly rebuts an argument Gasland II repeats ad nauseum, that natural gas emissions are worse for the climate than coal’s due to methane leakage.  Levi read the study it’s based on, and found that the Cornell scientists behind it—one of whom is interviewed as a fracking expert in Fox’s new film—”misread the data.” Based on his own research, Levi found that “the available evidence points strongly to the conclusion that methane leaks aren’t coming close to making gas as bad for climate change as coal is.”

Levi is said to refute the Jevons Paradox, but I have my doubts.  Wiki describes the Jevons Pardox :

In economics, the Jevons paradox (/ˈdʒɛvənz/; sometimes Jevons effect) is the proposition that technological progress that increases the efficiency with which a resource is used tends to increase (rather than decrease) the rate of consumption of that resource.  

The way to make the Jevons Paradox invalid is when a governing body, imposes a tax, for example,  on the use of a product.  But that does not refute it, but rather changes the playing field.

Got any guess if the documentary will have a big box office?  My guess it will see some success on YouTube, but not much where people actually have to pay to see it.


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