No Gasland Oscar, but no peace for the gas industry

The anti-natural gas drilling documentary Gasland didn’t’ capture an Oscar at the Academy Awards last night, much to the relief of the drilling industry.

Energy In Depth, the group formed largely to fight the backlash against hydraulic fracturing, has been rallying the troops against Gasland for more than a year, challenging everything from Josh Fox’s claims he’s from Pennsylvania to whether hydraulic fracturing was really exempted from any laws.

Fox has defended himself repeatedly in print and in interviews.

The folks with Greenwire took the back-and-forth claims between Fox and EID and did some fact-checking of their own on the dueling claims.

Their own conclusion: “The filmmaker and industry have each made errors and have spun some facts to their outer limits.”

But the Greenwire analysis seems to affirm EID’s challenges of the most effective image from Gasland— flaming tap water at two of the three homes that claim their water was contaminated by gas drilling. Greenwire seems to side with the “scientists can’t blame it on drilling conclusively” arguments.

But even if EID’s efforts to fight against fracking’s sullied reputation were to earn a gold star (an effort that some in the industry say simply isn’t working) the challenges to the industry continue to mount: This weekend the New York Times published a lengthy report about the dangers of drilling waste water disposal.

Already U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) is calling for the EPA to speed up its study of  fracking. Meanwhile, a former Pennsylvania environmental chief called the story a “hit piece” and noted it misses many improvements in the state’s regulations.