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With his new film ‘Promised Land’, Matt Damon is enetering the fracking debate, and fracking companies are worried that his celebrity status could help to influence many people, turning them against fracking and causing great damage to the industry.
The film, co-written with John Krasinski, best known as Jim Halpert from the American version of the Office, explores the debate surrounding the controversial technology, with Damon playing Steve Butler, a gas industry representative looking to secure land leases in rural towns.
Damon, clearly an opponent of fracking, said that the film “really asks more questions, you know, than it answers. But they’re important questions that we all need to be asking right now.”
Critics have complained that the film only shows one side of the industry and fails to mention all of the safety procedures that frackers use when working. Charles Ebinger, from the Brookings Institute, warned that Damon’s status could attract many Americans to watch this film, which in turn, due to its biased stance, could then sway them against the fracking industry.
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“I think someone like Matt Damon will make a very convincing actor, undoubtedly casting concerns about shale gas on the horizon, and that will probably become a lot of people’s perceptions; that shale gas is not safe,” he said.
Documentary filmmaker, Phelim McAleer, stated that Damon and Krasinski’s original script had to undergo a serious rewrite when it was discovered that the whole basis of the film, an incident where residents in Dimock, Pa. claimed that fracking had ruined their drinking water, turned out to be false as both the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Environmental Protection Agency found no evidence to back up the accusation.
McAleer told FoxNews that, “according to sources close to the movie, they (Damon and Krasinski) have come up with a solution – anti-fracking fraudsters are really secret agents employed by the fossil-fuel industry to discredit the environmental movement. It’s a ludicrous twist, a ludicrous movie.
If you are making claims that the movie is about the American experience than you need to make it about that. Yet they’ve twisted it so it still fits into their anti-fracking, anti-corporate ideology.”
The film is set for release on the 4th of January 2013.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com