Appalachian Basin

“Truthland” Comes to Canton

On Thursday night, Energy in Depth – Ohio held a screening of the new film Truthland at Kent State University at Stark. The third showing in the state drew an audience of over 80 individuals interested in learning the facts on the practices and processes involved in oil and gas development.

If you haven’t been following lately, Truthland is a response to the myths and distortions that play a leading role in the HBO “documentary” Gasland, a film that has spread a lot of misinformation and unnecessary fears surrounding the techniques used in the development of oil and natural gas.

On hand to clarify some of these myths – and to share in her experiences in researching the subject – was Shelly, the star of the film, who joined the panel discussion following the film.

Shelly, a mother and farmer from Pennsylvania, set out on a cross-country tour (including a stop here in Ohio) in search of facts shortly after watching Gasland, meeting a number of colorful characters along the way (and also some pretty knowledgeable experts).

Also joining us for the Canton stop were some local experts on oil and gas development, particularly focused on the impact it is having in Stark County the northeast Ohio region as a whole; Scott Haws, Plain Township Trustee and President of the Stark County Township Trustee Association, David Kaminski, Director of Energy and Public Affairs for the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Tom Byers, Organizer for the Local 18 International Union of Operating Engineers.

If you missed the screening in Canton and would like to share in the experience, you can watch the film at prior to watching a portion of the panel discussion below.

We knew that, as dairy farmers, that we were concerned about the safety for animals, for our family…we have a lot at stake there. After seeing the Gasland movie, there were some questions there that we wanted answered. – Shelly (5:02)

With over 80 people joining us on Thursday night, it’s clear there is an interest in learning the truth about oil and gas development. It’s vital, in areas of activity like Stark County in particular, to gain an understanding of theses facts and clarify common myths so communities can focus on one of the primary benefits this development brings: the revitalization of our economy.

Certainly, Stark County is already seeing the impacts the industry is having on it’s local economy, and it’s work force. This is a trend that will continue in the coming years as this development progresses, something not lost on the audience or the local chamber of commerce.

We have 1500 members in the chamber, and a lot of them are very excited about the economic opportunity that might come from oil and gas, their ability to do business with oil and gas, and the jobs that are available. – David Kaminski (1:43)

Following the panel discussion, Energy in Depth – Ohio had an opportunity to talk with a few folks from the audience to discuss their thoughts on the film.

The fact that an everyday person went and gathered information to get the facts about “fracking” I think is very important. I’m taking home a copy of the DVD for my children to take a look at. – Mona Sink

I was very happy to come to the movie this evening because I think that Truthland is doing exactly that, telling the truth. – Sarah Tipka

This is the second viewing for panelist Tom Byers of the Local 18, who was on hand for the Columbus premiere of the film.  In the clip below, he share’s his thoughts on Truthland back in June.

A lot more facts in this movie than Gasland—Tom Byers

Energy in Depth – Ohio will continue to rollout Truthland in screenings throughout the state, and with the interest and excitement of the audience this week in Canton, we look forward to doing so, and hope to see you at our next event.

Should you not have the chance to make it to one of our screenings there is no need to fret – the film (as well as the full-length interviews) can be be found online at

See you at the movies!

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