Marcellus Shale

Truthland – A Journey of Discovery by One Outstanding Woman

It was MDN’s pleasure to attend a screening of the newly released Truthland movie this week at the Susquehanna Valley High School in Conklin, New York. Truthland is a short film, about 34 minutes in length, that takes as its mission the debunking of Josh Fox’s well-known movie Gasland.

The star of Truthland is a Pennsylvania woman by the name of Shelly. She and her husband Phil and their children live on a farm in northeastern Pennsylvania—land that’s been in Phil’s family for the past 120 years. They leased their land for shale gas drilling several years ago, and then along came Gasland with wild claims that hydraulic fracturing is hugely dangerous. The movie raised red flags and questions for Shelly and sent her on a journey to find out the truth (or as it turns out, half- and un-truth) about Gasland.  This movie (watch the trailer below) chronicles her quest to get her questions answered.

Shelly is not only a farm wife, mother and grandmother, she’s also a teacher by trade—and a science teacher at that. So Shelly turned her curious and trained mind to finding out the real story. Along her journey from Pennsylvania to Texas, Louisiana, Colorado and back, she interviewed a series of experts and landowners that gave her the low-down on hydraulic fracturing—and on Gasland.

Among the amazing sights in the movie…Shelly lives not far from Salt Springs State Park. People in that part of PA for generations have talked about methane bubbling up in the “salt springs” of the park. Shelly decided to conduct a science experiment. She took along a jug, collected air above one of the springs, and set it on fire—just like was done in Gasland. But this was outside! In a state park! Obvious conclusion: methane occurs naturally in water in many places. Fracking does not necessarily cause methane to appear in water supplies.

Shelly also caught her own version of a flaming faucet on film from a landowner who lives nowhere near any kind of gas or oil drilling (or fracking). The result, and the landowner’s comments, are laugh-out-loud funny.

Another scene, near the end of the film, shows an interview “caught on tape” of Josh Fox responding to a questioner. Fox admits that he knew the famous flaming faucet in Colorado was not caused by fracking activity. He said the fact it was not from hydraulic fracturing “was beside the point.” Yeah, right!  No, Josh, it was the entire point of the movie. And, this short clip of Fox himself is one of the most damning pieces of evidence against Gasland.

Truthland is a devastating rebuttal of most of (if not all of) the inaccurate claims and innuendo in Josh Fox’s fictional film.

And now, you can watch Truthland for yourself. Just click below to watch it on your computer—the entire thing. And head on over to the website,, to request a free DVD that you can watch on your TV.

Full disclosure: Shelly is a personal friend.  I have known Shelly for nearly 20 years. She taught all three of my children in school. She’s a sweet lady, but tough as nails, and someone who always tells the truth. In short, she’s the perfect person to make a movie like this one, and the result is outstanding.


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