Begun, These Gasland Wars Have

When we left Phelim McAleer, the pro-fracking filmmaker who keeps critiquing Josh Fox’s Gasland and winning conservative fans, he was promoting his own film and earning an exasperated diss. “They’re the birthers of fracking,” Fox told me. Since then, McAleer filmed as a few fracking supporters tried, and failed, to gain (ticketed!) entry into a Gasland 2 screening.

McAleer had long wondered whether Gasland 2 would ever be released, speculating that HBO had cooled on it. But no: HBO will run Fox’s sequel on July 8. In response, Mark Cuban’s AXS has scheduled a July 9 showing of McAleer’s FrackNation, in the hops of setting up a media battle about the Fracking Truth. (I think I’m engaging or enabling in the battle by pointing this out.) The natural gas industry was spooked and surprised by Gasland, which defined public opinion of fracking before they’d figured out a way to popularize it. This time, they want to updgrade from PR disaster to debate about the real facts, with both sides represented on panels.