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Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

If you're from Pennsylvania, no doubt you've heard of the Marcellus shale. You've heard about the jobs created, the billions of dollars in royalties and taxes and the benefits of energy independence that shale gas makes possible.

But you've also heard from activist groups telling tales of flaming faucets and other colorful anecdotes. A perfect example is “Gasland,” the “documentary” in which an uneducated and controversial director from Manhattan claims to chronicle incidents of contamination. The movie was misleading and outright deceitful.

Phelim McAleer, an internationally renowned journalist, saw the movie as well. Determined to get to the bottom of the claims, McAleer hit the road, spoke to landowners and ended up with a beautiful, funny and moving film, “FrackNation” ( It masterfully exposes the lies of Manhattanite Josh Fox and his band of well-to-do celebrities, and the struggling farmers who have to deal with the fallout.

“FrackNation” was funded by thousands of individual donations through . Its cinematography is gorgeous, its stories touching, and McAleer is charming. There is a free showing at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Indiana Theater in Indiana, Pa. McAleer is hosting the event, and there will be a Q&A session afterward.

Michael S. Knapp


The writer is vice president of land and public relations for MDS Energy Ltd.

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