If the increase in U.S. oil output continues to increase by 25 percent every year, as it did from September 2012 to September 2013, total U.S. output would double every three years. It’s a simple case of mathematics, compound interest, and the Rule of 72. The main people working to keep that from happening are Josh Fox and his friends.
According to the latest report from the Department of Energy, the U.S. oil industry produced an average of 7.8 million barrels of oil every day during September, the highest monthly output since May 1989, more than 24 years ago. Doing some math of his own, economist Mark Perry estimated that at this rate, U.S. crude oil production will hit 10 million barrels a day early in the year 2015 — a level not seen since November 1970.
Josh Fox and his friends have other ideas, however. As the co-producer of the film Gasland in 2010 and Gasland II earlier this summer, Fox joined forces with Debra Winger, Pete Seeger, and California environmentalist Mark Jacobson to bring the anti-fracking message to millions of uninformed Americans. Fox had some help from HBO, aided and abetted by Robert Redford’s Sundance Festival, which awarded Fox’s first effort its “Jury Prize.”
Fox’s lies about fracking may just do him in before he does much more damage. Investigative journalists have had a field day in pointing out the falsehoods abundantly displayed in his original film Gasland, starting from the very first scene. Fox is sitting at his kitchen table, holding something that looks like a serious proposal, saying:
One day I got a letter in the mail. It was from a natural gas company. The letter told me that my land was on top of a formation that was called the Marcellus Shale which stretched across Pennsylvania — New York — Ohio — and West Virginia — and that the Marcellus Shale was the Saudi Arabia of natural gas.
I could lease my land to this company and I would receive a signing bonus of $4,750 an acre. Having 19.5 acres, that was nearly $100,000 … right there in my hand. Could it be that easy?
No, it couldn't. As Tom Shepstone, of Shepstone Management Company, wrote, “Every aspect of his story turns out to be a falsehood.” The math doesn't work: it wasn't $100,000 but $92,625. His land couldn't be used for drilling; it’s too hilly. The land doesn't belong to him but to his father. And no natural gas company was making offers in 2008, or even 2006, when Fox claimed he first received his, but then later corrected himself. Concluded Shepstone:
The lease didn't come in the mail from a gas company. It wasn't even sent to him by the Northern Wayne Property Owners Association.
It appears that he simply grabbed a copy from someone else, fabricated a story around it, added some video of a flaming faucet and, presto, Gasland was born.
The lies continued:
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