New plan from Gasland II: The faucet-fire lie wasn’t big enough. We’re going full garden hose.

posted at 1:21 pm on July 9, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Over the past couple of years, there have been occasions when I’ve raised the issue of hydraulic fracturing — a.k.a. “fracking,” the innovative drilling technique that has unlocked vast resources of oil and gas and brought about the shale boom — with certain friends, it seems that more often than not, their knowledge of the issue rarely amounts to more than the false association of the technique with the now-iconic image of area residents lighting their faucet water on fire.

It was an image peddled to viewers in Josh Fox’s deliberately misleading 2010 “documentary” Gasland, but the film conveniently neglected to add that Americans in areas around the country have been able to ignite the water from their indoor plumbing since long before fracking was even a thing. What’s more, even the zealous and ever-vigilant bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency, undoubtedly with their ears constantly on the ground for ways to link up hydraulic fracturing and groundwater contamination, have so far repeatedly failed to do so based on any kind of actual scientific evidence.

The idea of chemical-laced, flammable water is a powerful one, to be sure, but the whole film as well as the multiple lies masquerading as facts have since been debunked time and again. Apparently, however, facts aren’t a good enough reason to cut the innovation-, efficiency- and cleaner-fuel-hating blather. I haven’t seen it yet, but the — er, highly anticipated? — sequel, Gasland II, premiered on HBO on Monday night, and word on the street is that is that they didn’t just decide to double down on their most memorable and deceitful image. They decided the time was right to turn a garden hose into a flamethrower, and proceeded to present it as evidence for their foregone conclusion, via the WFB:

Fox’s new film, Gasland Part II, features a powerful scene showing a Texas landowner lighting the contents of a garden hose on fire. The incident is presented as evidence of water contamination from a nearby hydraulic fracturing operation.

According to a Texas court, the scene was actually a hoax devised by a Texas environmental activist engaged in a prolonged battle with a local gas company to falsely inflate the supposed dangers of the oil and gas extraction technique, also known as fracking. …

Texas’ 43rd Judicial District Court found in February 2012 that Steven Lipsky,  “under the advice or direction” of Texas environmental activist Alisa Rich, “intentionally attach[ed] a garden hose to a gas vent—not a water line” and lit its contents on fire.

“This demonstration was not done for scientific study but to provide local and national news media a deceptive video, calculated to alarm the public into believing the water was burning,” the court found in response to a defamation complaint brought by Range Resources, the company conducting hydraulic fracturing operations in the area, against Lipsky and his wife.

Oof. Don’t forget that the first Gasland installment was actually nominated for an Academy Award.


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I’m glad I dumped HBO a few years ago.

Mark1971 on July 9, 2013 at 1:24 PM

Too bad they didn’t blow themselves up.

Fracking is the only thing saving America from another great depression.

redguy on July 9, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Don’t forget that the first Gasland installment was actually nominated for an Academy Award.

For what? Worst special effects.

Vera71 on July 9, 2013 at 1:27 PM

“…Texas landowner lighting the contents of a garden hose on fire.”

A feature, not a bug: Any Real Texan would go to the tool shed, fab a separator from spare farm equipment, and fuel his home with the gas. (And keep quiet about it.)

Tsar of Earth on July 9, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Why do Liberals hate poor people? They must, because that is who is helped the most by fracking and the subsequently lower energy prices.

Johnnyreb on July 9, 2013 at 1:34 PM

There’s a job waiting at NBC for these people.

PackerBronco on July 9, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Apparently these gas bags are opposed to anything that involves digging in the ground. Does that mean they’re opposed to planting food as well?

IndieDogg on July 9, 2013 at 1:40 PM

How much Saudi money did he take for this sequel? Oh yes, I went there.

Sekhmet on July 9, 2013 at 1:40 PM

At least The China Syndrome purported to be fiction. We’ve progressed so much in such a few decades.

Fenris on July 9, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Don’t forget that the first Gasland installment was actually nominated for an Academy Award.

Seems fitting. The Academy Awards routinely honor fiction.

Shump on July 9, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Don’t forget that the first Gasland installment was actually nominated for an Academy Award.

Of course.
Algore got one of those Acadummy award AhScares, too.

Dexter_Alarius on July 9, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Apparently these gas bags are opposed to anything that involves digging in the ground. Does that mean they’re opposed to planting food as well?

IndieDogg on July 9, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Oh yes, they oppose farming because it is not friendly to the environment.
I guess these eco-nuts can survive on dirt?

redguy on July 9, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Why don’t they just come here and have flames shoot out of my well?

vityas on July 9, 2013 at 1:47 PM

The sad thing LIVs will believe it. hell remember when a good percentage of LIVs (democrats) thought that Martin Sheen was president.

jukin3 on July 9, 2013 at 1:49 PM

I was asked from a guy going door to door last night to sign a petition to stop fracking in Colorado. He didn’t look happy as he stomped away from my door after I told him my son is a geologist on the rigs.

lea on July 9, 2013 at 1:51 PM

I love these realistic science fiction movies. /sarc

CiLH1 on July 9, 2013 at 1:53 PM

For his next trick, let this genius attach his gas stove to a cold-water tap, and try to boil water.

Or maybe he should use his gas-filled garden hose to weld his lips shut.

Steve Z on July 9, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Why do Liberals hate poor people? They must, because that is who is helped the most by fracking and the subsequently lower energy prices.

Johnnyreb on July 9, 2013 at 1:34 PM

^^This.

Leftists claim to be on the side of “poor” people, but, judging by their actions, the opposite is true. As a former Lefty myself it took me a long time to finally accept that the Progressive ideology is long out-dated and actually harms those it is supposed to help in the long run.

visions on July 9, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Y’know, when I first hear about these things like lighting water on fire when it comes out of taps or hoses, my first thought is that people are doing fun things with stuff that actually burns water.

The reality of petty misrepresentation (and outright fraud) is just so… dull.

Ramadahl on July 9, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Fracking has been used for 60 years to drill for gas. It’s nothing more than demonization of carbon fuels. There are editorials and supposed experts writing letters every day published in our local paper. No facts needed, just more of the we are all going to die due to agw.

Kissmygrits on July 9, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Fracking is the only thing saving America from another great depression.

redguy on July 9, 2013 at 1:27 PM

And that’s precisely why 0bama and the radical left must put a stop to it. It’s standing in the way of their implementation of the Cloward-Piven strategy.

UltimateBob on July 9, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Fracking has been used for 60 years to drill for gas. It’s nothing more than demonization of carbon fuels. There are editorials and supposed experts writing letters every day published in our local paper. No facts needed, just more of the we are all going to die due to agw.

Kissmygrits on July 9, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Hey keep in mind that these were the same people that attacked GWB for slightly changing the allowable levels of (naturally present) arsenic in well water. You would have thought that the GOP was going out and dumping arsenic in people’s drinking water.

These are the same people who have successfully sold the global warming myth for over a decade (global warming may or may not be happening but the idea that mankind can reverse the trend by setting up a market in carbon credits is absurd.)

These are the same people who made the claim that the Polar Bears are going to drown.

In short, this is all about politics and not science.

Happy Nomad on July 9, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Happy Nomad on July 9, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Don’t forget the little detail, that was the arsenic standard Bill Clinton put in place literally one day before he left office.

Fenris on July 9, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Sekhmet, i thought it was the Russians who were against fracking. The Saudis have liquid oil, the Russkies have a big monopoly on natural gas in Europe. They stand to lose the most if the US starts exporting NG.

Kafir on July 9, 2013 at 2:24 PM

I used to think environmentalists lived in a fantasy land of wishes and hopes and lies. I now know that it is the average Joe who lives in a fantasy land where he thinks facts and reality trump lies and hopes.

in_awe on July 9, 2013 at 2:34 PM

They won’t stop until we’re either dead, living in caves, or in fema camps.

No sarc tag for you.

abobo on July 9, 2013 at 2:38 PM

We’re having thunderstorms here, today. Must be the fracking.

tdarrington on July 9, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Sad, but not surprising.

A few years ago a survey found that the majority of people under 35 got most of their information on the Kennedy assassination from the Oliver Stone fantasy JFK, which is at best historical fiction.

Adjoran on July 9, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Can this faucet gas be used for anything? Like maybe collect it to heat your house or cook your food?

Dr. Frank Enstine on July 9, 2013 at 3:01 PM

Sad, but not surprising.

A few years ago a survey found that the majority of people under 35 got most of their information on the Kennedy assassination from the Oliver Stone fantasy JFK, which is at best historical fiction.

Adjoran on July 9, 2013 at 2:41 PM

And a lot over 35. I have a good friend that thinks OS nailed that one. He even has lots of research to back himself up.

Dr. Frank Enstine on July 9, 2013 at 3:03 PM

Why do these people assume that the feds will be more responsible than local authorities? I was an adviser to a planning commission in the 1990s when Coalbed Methane began to be developed in is area using fracking technology. Naturally, the county was worried about the use of a new technology, so the board together with the planning administrator, two commissioners and myself visited Durango, Colorado where this technology had been ongoing for about 20 years (40 by now). This area was affected because a seam of coal approaching the surface in the area had been leaking methane without human intervention for longer than anybody in the area remembered. There were areas in the area where it bubbled up in local streams.

This occurred because the rocks in the vicinity had fractured naturally allowing the methane which had accumulated in the coal seam to be released.

Then the methane began to be recovered by drilling. This works by drilling into the seam and drawing off the water which saturated the coal and held the methane in place after it was produced by the earth. As the water is pumped off, more methane is released and this increases and continues as the water pressure is reduced, so you get greater amounts of methane as the ground water produced declines. This process continues indefinitely. In that area, it has continued for 45 years, 20 years longer than expected.

After this process began, however, the amounts of methane released into ground water increased and began coming up in kitchen taps and accumulating in crawlspaces under houses. One home was lifted off its foundation when the methane in the crawlspace ignited. The county had had no zoning laws prior to this problem, but now the areas where methane seepage was occurring have been identified are not allowed to be developed and those in existing homes where the problems occurred, it has been remediated.

In our county, these problems never occurred because our coal was so deep underground that no seepage through the rock strata above it occurred. The drill shafts were sealed with cement to prevent migration between strata. In our state the process is also regulated by a state board overseeing oil, gas and mining. The ground water drawn up out of the coal is extremely salty and cannot be dumped on the surface, so regulations require that it be reinjected through other wells into strata below the original one.

We were still concerned about the possibility of ground water being affected, but after hearings on the subject, we felt assured that the reinjection could not affect the water in the zone for at least 10,000 years, and then it would probably improve the quality of it.

My point is that local and state authorities who are doing their jobs are fully capable of figuring out the potential problems which could come from fracking in a given area and preventing them from developing.

flataffect on July 9, 2013 at 3:25 PM

According to a Texas court, the scene was actually a hoax devised by a Texas environmental activist engaged in a prolonged battle with a local gas company to falsely inflate the supposed dangers of the oil and gas extraction technique, also known as fracking. …

There’s been a LOT of hoaxes perpetrated by the PTB both in the U.S. and elsewhere this year alone. But, folks won’t get their heads out of their rear ends and examine the evidence. Don’t want to go against the herd and deep down still refuse to believe that their governments are capable of total BS committed in broad daylight…or admit that the Socialist press can indeed fool them.

Put down the Flag you’re waving for a few minutes and open your eyes.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 9, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Guess the activist took a page from “60 Minutes”. If it won’t blow up on it’s own……….help it along.

GarandFan on July 9, 2013 at 3:38 PM

You mean NBC Dateline didnt produce movie-it was fox.

jaywemm on July 9, 2013 at 3:43 PM

I can’t dump HBO without dumping the sports channels that I watch. Anyone know any options?

Strike Twice on July 9, 2013 at 3:58 PM

I can’t dump HBO without dumping the sports channels that I watch. Anyone know any options?

Strike Twice on July 9, 2013 at 3:58 PM

Get a different cable company or a satellite TV company? You may be able to access them with a Roku system.

Other than that I’d say do without the sports channels, too. Professional and college sports have no real value in our personal lives. These guys couldn’t care less about us and all they want is the money and the notoriety, and they get a pass to act any way they want in real life. It’s pretty much Hollywood.

Statistically, if you had all the teams in any league play an infinite number of games, they would all end up tied with the same record. It really doesn’t matter who wins or loses these things.

Also, think of your favorite players. If they move to a different team does your favorite team not become your favorite team anymore because you have a new favorite team? And if not, then does your favorite player now suddenly suck because he switched?

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 9, 2013 at 4:36 PM

What’s more, even the zealous and ever-vigilant bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency, undoubtedly with their ears constantly on the ground for ways to link up hydraulic fracturing and groundwater contamination, have so far repeatedly failed to do so based on any kind of actual scientific evidence.

I expect very soon the EPA will determine that there is a link between the two, as far as EPA regulations are concerned. Their “proof” will be that the link has been suggested so long by so many people that that in itself constitutes sufficient reason to declare it so. (In the interest of safety, of course.)

Socratease on July 9, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Who needs to pay for TV anyway?

You can find all those HBO programs on the interwebs, mostly for free. Hook up a halfway decent computer to your flat panel TV, and you can watch what you want, when you want, and you will find that the more you use it that way, the less traditional “television programming” you will watch overall.

There is so much stuff on the tubes that eventually I’ve found that we watch hardly any hollywierd shows anymore.

Starve the beast.

PoliTech on July 9, 2013 at 5:44 PM

Don’t forget that the first Gasland installment was actually nominated for an Academy Award.

As will this sequel be, no doubt.

Truth doesn’t matter.

Midas on July 9, 2013 at 5:53 PM

Well… maybe they can get an Academy Award for special effects?

eyesights on July 9, 2013 at 7:24 PM

phelim actually touched on this in Fracknation – this is a good clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7j4pnF8GzqQ

el75 on July 11, 2013 at 12:41 AM