The film “Fracknation,” by Phelim McAleer, has all of the usual decorations of a legitimate documentary on hydraulic fracking, but for me, it was the background music, which sounded like those bells-in-pipeline tracks for BP commercials, that gave it away.
The film is nothing but a shill for the oil and gas industry. It relies on sources who farmers and land owners who have agreed to lease their lands: Yes, the “it smells like money” set. Hardly the group of people you can count on to protect your water supply for decades to come.
In addition, it subverts the counter-cultural elements of Kickstarter.com by existing as another way for Koch brothers style funds to be laundered, thus giving an impression that there’s some kind of call of the people at work here.
In fact, the filmmaker is funded by right-wing dark money, and somehow he’s managed to put together a string of climate denying and anti-environmentalist films casting doubts on all kinds of settled scientific observations and studies.
And if you want to catch him as a speaker, you’ll have pay a pretty hefty per-plate price on the conservative circuit, or at oil and gas conferences.
According to a web site debunking the climate change debunkers, “McAleer and (Ann McElhinney) also say they are independent journalists working independently of corporate funding. McAleer was referred to by the San Francisco Chronicle as ‘climate denial’s Michael Moore’ and both McAleer and McElhinney are listed as ‘experts’ by the climate change-denying Heartland Institute.”
A new study by that group recommends dissolving the Environmental Protection Agency.
The journalist likes to use deceptive, wolf-in-sheep’s clothing appeals to his audience. For example, there’s the title, “Fracknation,” drawn from “Fast Food Nation,” which was hardly a promoter of the over culture. But the graphics are slick enough to be used for an oil industry commercial, with cool-tech sounds burbling in the background. The Kickstarter.com page and the film itself states it raised $212,265 from “ordinary people” in 2012. But that’s hard to believe. The filmmaker has produced a pro-mining documentary called “Mine Your Own Business” and “Not Evil. Just Wrong,” a climate denier’s film indicating if there’s going to be one conclusion from anything it attempts to document, it’s this: It’s fodder for the right-wing capitalize everything set.
It’s why the Salt Lake Tribune described “Fracknation” as an oil and gas “infomercial.”