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Matt Damon’s “Promised Land” puts energy industry on defensive December 16, 2012

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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There’s a new Hollywood movie about to come out that is making American energy companies nervous. Promised Land, starring Matt Damon, is about a gas-company salesman who tries to lease natural-gas drilling rights in rural Pennsylvania, which has become in real life a hotbed for the controversial practice of fracking. The gas industry is taking the film seriously, fearing that it will be portrayed in a negative light. Teams of “truth-squads” are being lined up to hit Twitter and Facebook to point out inaccuracies in the film. Though a number of people have complained that fracking – the process by which water and chemicals are pumped into bedrock to break up shale and allow oil to flow – has either caused local earthquakes and groundwater contamination, the industry has fiercely denied such claims.

Damon himself has been put on the spot already. Conservative journalists are trailing him while he promotes the film, with some pointing out to him that his film has been partially funded by royal families from oil-rich nations, all of whom have a self-interest in making fracking look bad. The information caught Damon off guard, and the revelation is sure to get more news in the coming months.

For more on Promised Land, and the case against fracking, see the following videos:

Discussion Questions:

1.  What is fracking and why is it so dangerous?

2.  Do films have the power to shift public opinion on political matters? If so, cite an example.

3.  Can the energy industry discredit the film without looking guilty?

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