EID to the Academy: Consider GasLand’s “Many Errors, Inconsistencies, Outright Falsehoods”

“The oil and gas industry doesn’t want a golden Oscar statuette to grace the mantle of ‘Gasland’ filmmaker Josh Fox.,” reports E&E News today. Why? Well, according to the Academy’s official website, a feature-length documentary film must maintain an “emphasis … on fact and not on fiction.” As we know, however, independent experts, film critics, environmental regulators, and elected officials from across the political spectrum have called attention to fact that GasLand is a work of “fundamentally dishonest” “hatched job.”

Energy In Depth – a national coalition leading the efforts of debunking GasLand and holding its Manhattan-based director and anti-natural gas activist Josh Fox accountable – has taken these facts directly to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. EID’s executive director, Lee Fuller, sent a letter earlier today to the Academy. This from E&E News:

An industry group sent a letter today to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, saying that a litany of errors in the anti-drilling film should render it ineligible for best documentary feature.

“The filmmaker alternates between misstating and outright ignoring basic and verifiable facts related to the impact of these activities on the health and welfare of humans, wildlife and the environment,” said Lee Fuller, executive director of Energy In Depth (EID), in a letter today to the academy.

Fuller wrote that the errors he cites demonstrate that the film does not live up to the academy’s requirement that award winners must maintain an “emphasis … on fact and not on fiction.”

Key Letter Excerpts (NOTE: Click HERE to view):

  • As found on the Academy’s official website, on a page entitled “Special Rules for the Documentary Awards,” a feature-length documentary … must maintain an “emphasis … on fact and not on fiction.” As we demonstrate below and in the attached, the film GasLand…falls short of this description in a number of significant ways.
  • GasLand puts forth a thesis on natural gas development in the United States founded on a mistaken understanding of the process required to access these resources, and factually incorrect interpretation of the myriad rules and regulations in place designed to safeguard those operations wherever they may take place.
  • GasLand draws heavily on testimonials from individuals who actively oppose natural gas development in general, and the use of hydraulic fracturing … many of the people and stories featured in GasLand are the same people and stories featured in a forerunner to the film released in 2009 called Split Estate, which, although committing many of the same errors as the Academy Award nominee, received, for whatever reason, none of the hype.
  • The many errors, inconsistencies and outright falsehoods catalogued in the appendix attached to this letter – and the many more we withheld for sake of brevity – cast serious doubt on GasLand’s worthiness for this most honored award, and directly violate both the letter and spirit of the published criteria that presumably must be met by GasLand’s competitors in this category.
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