Matt Damon forced to alter anti-fracking film
Environmentalists are at it again. With sizable, untapped natural resources at the United States’ disposal to help lower gas and energy costs, they’re working hard to sway public opinion in their favor. The latest example is an anti-fracking movie, Promised Land, being written in part by Matt Damon, star of the Bourne series.
Fracking is the employed to extract shale oil from undergroud sources using significant quanities of water and small amounts of chemicals. As one might imagine, environmentalists hate the idea. But Damon is apparently running into problems with the script, reports Phelim McAleer at the New York Post:
I broke the news that “Promised Land” was about fracking and now I can reveal that the script’s seen some very hasty rewriting because of real-world evidence that anti-fracking activists may be the true villains.
In courtroom after courtroom, it has been proved that anti-fracking activists have been guilty of fraud or misrepresentation.
There was Dimock, Pa. — the likely inspiration for “Promised Land,” which is also set in Pennsylvania. Dimock featured in countless news reports, with Hollywood celebrities even bringing water to 11 families who claimed fracking had destroyed their water and their lives.
But while “Promised Land” was in production, the story of Dimock collapsed. The state investigated and its scientists found nothing wrong. So the 11 families insisted EPA scientists investigate. They did — and much to the dismay of the environmental movement found the water was not contaminated.
There was Wolf Eagle Environmental Engineers in Texas, a group that produced a frightening video of a flaming house water pipe and claimed a gas company had polluted the water. But a judge just found that the tape was an outright fraud — Wolf Eagle connected the house gas pipe to a hose and lit the water.
Other “pollution” cases collapsed in Wyoming and Colorado. Even Josh Fox, who with his Oscar-nominated documentary “Gasland” first raised concerns about flammable water, has had to admit he withheld evidence that fracking was not responsible.
These frauds and misrepresentations created huge problems for the Damon/Krasinski script about “what defines us as a country.”
So, according to sources close to the movie, they’ve come up with a solution — suggest that anti-fracking fraudsters are really secret agents employed by the fossil-fuel industry to discredit the environmental movement.
In the revised script, Damon exposes Krasinski as a fraud — only to realize that Krasinski’s character is working deep undercover for the oil industry to smear fracking opponents.
Hollywood is worried about declining theater audiences; it’s blaming the Internet and the recession. But the real problem might be closer to home.
Damon and Krasinski said they were making a movie that “defines us as a country” but then shoehorned ideology into a script — and when real-world events became a problem, they shoehorned in more ideology.
When one narrative doesn’t work, you have to go with another — portraying unsympathetic oil companies as frauds. Damon has been outspoken about his activism. Just last year, he took part in a protest in Washington last year to support teachers. He didn’t hide his desire to see “guys like [him]” pay more in taxes — although nothing is preventing him from voluntarily writing to Uncle Sam if he feels like he’s not paying enough.
Hollywood has a right to produce whatever movies with any message it wants, but they’re relying on people staying uninformed. In this instance, they would have ignored the benefits of fracking. You can complain all you want about the disconnect with mainstream America in Washington, but Hollywood is just as bad and just as guilty of ignoring the truth in order to push its own agenda.
My wife and I saw The Campaign, starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, a couple of months ago. Sure, it was funny, but the movie was essentially a long rant against the Citizens United decision and the Koch brothers or other corporations that may be politically involved. It wasn’t factual by any means, but that’s not going to stop viewers from forming negative opinions about our First Amendment rights — and that’s exactly what is at stake here, even if its based on faulty information. Of course, my wife said, “Jason, it’s just a movie.” Yeah, but there is much more to it than that.
I suppose Damon deserves some credit for at least altering the script, but the narrative against oil companies at a time when gas prices remain high, which is no fault of their own, will still be put forward.