Marcellus Shale

Truthland, The Gasland Antidote, Arrives!

Like many who grew up in the Upper Delaware River valley, the mere mention of Gasland has grated on me like Roseanne Barr singing the national anthem.  It’s not just the facts he got wrong or the truth he distorted.  You expect that sort of thing from Josh Fox and it didn’t take long for EID and several others to correct the record on the flaming Colorado faucet, the so-called “loophole” in the law, and the endangered species that, upon closer review, aren’t endangered after all.  No, what was so offensive was the sheer arrogance, condescension and pretense that pervaded the movie from the very beginning.

Locals like me knew there was no $100,000 offer, knew Fox was never the owner of the land in question and knew he was anything but part of the community from which he claimed to spring.  We knew the very premise of the movie was fake, from the start.  But, truth always outs, eventually.  Now it has in the form of a movie called, appropriately enough, Truthland.  Moreover, the storyteller in this case isn’t a spoiled avant-garde showman from New York City pretending to be a country boy, but the real deal, a Susquehanna County mom, dairy farmer and teacher by the name of Shelly, who is everything Fox is not – sincere, honest and forthright, with a real stake in the future of our region.

Truthland Star

Shelly – Farm wife, landowner, science teacher and star of Truthland

I knew, within 60 seconds of meeting Shelly, she was an authentic spokesperson for the views of those families who actually have to make a living in the region.  This was no part-time resident attempting to impose her conscience on a community she only visited on weekends.  This was no charlatan film-maker attempting to curry respectability with a politically correct message.  This was, rather, an authentic representative of a rural northeast that faces economic devastation without natural gas development, yet also a mother and grandmother with very real concerns that it all be done safely and responsibly.  Most importantly, I saw immediately this was a woman who would not shade the truth, let alone tell a falsehood on the rationalization the truth “wasn’t relevant.” It was clear she wasn’t the type to claim a lying script was “immersed in reality.”  Shelly is as real as it gets.

Shelly and her husband own a dairy farm near Franklin Forks, Pennsylvania and they have gas wells on their property.  Truthland is her story of how she answered several questions raised by Gasland.  She travels the country seeking out the truth about Josh Fox’s claims, talking to experts ranging from John Hanger to Terry Engelder, visits a steel plant, discusses issues with landowners, learns why one shouldn’t smoke in the shower of some homes and even participates in some explosive tests of gas well casings.  She asks questions, reports on what she learns and puts it all together from the perspective of a farm wife and mother with the same concerns any family would have.  It’s authentic.  It’s educational.  It’s the antidote to a very flawed Gasland.

Here’s Shelly discussing Truthland in our own words as our Joe Massore asks her a few questions (podcast version available here):

Why is this movie so important?  Well, here is Heidi Mitchell, Shelly’s neighbor, with her husband Dave, offering an explanation:

Energy In Depth is proud to be offering this opportunity for Shelly to tell her story.  A trailer of the film, and the film in its entirety, can be on the Truthland movie site where you can learn all the details.

Here is the tentative schedule for upcoming screenings of the movie in our area:

June 12 – Albany, New York
Women In Energy Leadership event
Screenings throughout the day including private and public screenings
1:00p.m.- 5:30 p.m.
Empire State Plaza
Concourse Meeting Room 3 and 4

June 13 – Binghamton, New York
JLCNY Truthland roll-out with John Hanger
Press conference at Holiday Inn; evening reception at Susquehanna Valley High School
Susquehanna Valley High School

June 16 – Columbus, Ohio
EID-sponsored screening in cooperation with OOGA, OOGEEP, API, OPC, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Manufacturers’ Association
11:30 a.m.
Center of Science and Industry
333 West Broad Street  Columbus, OH 43215

June 19 – Beach Lake, Pennsylvania
EID-sponsored screening in cooperation with
Northern Wayne Property Owners Alliance
7:00 p.m.
Beach Lake Volunteer Fire Dept.
1033 Beach Lake Highway

June 26 – Montrose, Pennsylvania
EID-sponsored screening in cooperation with
Dimock Proud, Franklin Citizens for Truth and NARO-PA
7:00 pm.
Montrose VFW
Route 706, Montrose, Pennsylvania

These screenings are being co-hosted by landowner associations, and others, throughout the country, but starting here in the Marcellus Shale region.  Each will be followed by a panel discussion where local and outside experts offer their perspectives to complement Shelly’s.  You can count on these events being great opportunities to learn, interact and gather the truth about natural gas, hydraulic fracturing and all goes with them.  Truthland will be an experience you’ll walk away from saying “I’d like to watch that again!  Finally, someone tells it the way it is!”  It’s that good.


  • Vic Furman
    Posted at 12:32 am, June 13, 2012 Reply

    This is a well done movie that answers many questions about the sincere lack authenticity of and question the Hollywood entertainment value of Gasland. If Truthland has one purpose it should be to get people that have seen Gasland to realize that truth can sometimes be so easily recognized when comparing the actual facts of Truthland to the misrepresented props of Gasland and the lie’s Gasland perpetrated on a nation.

    WELL DONE !!!!

    • Tamatha F Zemzars
      Posted at 10:30 pm, June 19, 2016 Reply

      This is an industry trumped up movie. Do you know that Energy In Depth is the Oil Industry. In essence, they wrote, produced and paid for a “real person” to specifically counter Gasland. Talk about lack of authenticity – this film is bought, produced and written by the Natural Gas Industry.

  • Deb
    Posted at 5:12 pm, June 13, 2012 Reply

    Why don’t you post this movie online for all to see. If it is online, please let me know where it can be found. I’m very interested in this perspective.

  • SideShowBob
    Posted at 11:37 am, June 14, 2012 Reply

    The worm is turning…hope you’re screening Truthland, Carol Collier… absolute rule over the Delaware Basin with no accountability other than to Josh Fox, Mark Ruffalo, Riverkeepers & Mountainkeepers is a disgrace and an abuse of your office and power…time for you to go…..your tenure is a farce. Resign immediately.

    Bob Nolan
    Lake Arile, Pa

  • Maggie Henry
    Posted at 10:32 pm, June 14, 2012 Reply

    Guess we will just have to wait and see if your venture is awarded with an Academy nomination. Any reason you didn’t seek out Dr. A Ingrafee , Sandra Steingraber, Dr. Volz or any number of others to get the full picture on fracking? Or was it just EID’s goal to slam Josh Fox? Why is there no mention that while methane migration has been around, they can tell from the isotopes where the explosive gas comes from. If your water didn’t ignite before, why all of sudden would it start after fracking? There are so many categorically false statements in this movie from people with monied interests in seeing PA exploited natural gas extraction that you embarrass yourself by participating in it!

    • JD Krohn
      Posted at 8:14 am, June 15, 2012 Reply

      Truthland wasn’t meant to win an academy award it was meant to tell people the truth about natural gas development. We had no control over the experts interviewed, that said we were quite pleased when the final product didn’t feature any Park Foundation “objectivity”. The experts speak in the film speak facts, not hyperbole (Steingraber), emotional appeals (Steingraber) bad science based on bad data (Ingraffea, Howart, et al).

  • Vic Furman
    Posted at 1:40 pm, June 15, 2012 Reply


    You call these people experts …I have to wonder if their paychecks or stipend checks from the park foundation ar made out – Pay to the order of the Expert , as Dr. A Ingrafee , Sandra Steingraber, Dr. Volz or any number of others so called experts are indeed on the anti payroll and like Chip Northrump are only out to control the lands around them simply for the view scape. I mean Dr. A Ingrafee tought rock fracturing to thousands of gas well workers and made a good living at it and now the hypocrite is against it because it adds to his retirement portfollio… Chip Northrump 33 years in the Industry and a few years ago bought a home in cooperstown, invested with his parents into solar… I would rather listen to a heroin addict promise me he won’t riffle my wallet as I sleep then anyone of the “experts” you rely on.

    • Rocky
      Posted at 8:54 am, June 16, 2012 Reply

      Hi Victor

      I wanted to elaborate on the lack of experience of the list. Actually Northrup has no actual practical oil and gas experience. He was a planning guy in alternative energy at Arco and simply and investor in oil and gas drilling rigs.

      Sort of the same resume exagerration that Lou Allstadt does when he says he was a VP at Mobil when in fact his background was as a policy guy in refining, no technical background and only got the VP E&P at the end of his career on the way out. Steingrabber is a biologist so of course she knows nothing about oil and gas and Ingraffea’s resume is really exaggerated. He had some experience in oil and gas fracture modelling but that contract was terminated over a decade ago before horizontal drilling and multistage fracture stimulation came into the forefront. As far as I know he has never had any practical oil and gas experience.

  • Matthew
    Posted at 11:16 am, May 08, 2017 Reply

    -According to 2012 income tax forms, Truthland was funded with a $1 million grant from American Natural Gas Alliance, Inc.
    -Truthland was produced by a political attack ad agency that had previously worked for big tobacco companies claiming that cigarettes don’t kill.
    -Neighbors of Shelly Depue were engaged in a lawsuit against a driller for alleged contamination. Drillers in the area have been cited on several occasions for failing to properly seal their wells: “defective casing or cement…meant to protect aquifers [which contain drinking water] from gas and other fluids.”.

Post A Comment