The Facebook page of FrackNation was suspended for 24 hours at the weekend after a series of complaints by activists who objected to the fact that it was telling the truth about fracking.
Filmmaker Phelim McAleer has been using the FrackNation page to report on the Dimock water trial – in which two families from smalltown Pennsylvania are trying to sue an oil and gas company for millions of dollars, alleging that it polluted their water with fracking fluid.
Thanks to the families’ allegations – eagerly, unquestioningly repeated in the green propaganda movies Gasland and Gasland 2 and frequently cited by activists like Mark Ruffalo and Yoko Ono – Dimock is now synonymous with environmental disaster. Not only have its faucets (taps to UK readers) been on shown on screen to burst into flames when you set a match to them but aggrieved locals have attested to the sickness the allegedly contaminated water has caused them, even to the point where they “won’t even shower in it.”
Now the case has finally come to trial, however, it is proving absolutely disastrous to the fracktivists’ cause: none of the claims by the two families – the Ely and the Hubert family – appear to be standing up.
Despite claiming to have suffered neurological, gastrointestinal, and dermatological damage from drinking the water, the families have had to admit they can produce no evidence of this. Indeed, they never even visited a doctor, not even when their children had supposedly been poisoned.
The Ely family were so oddly unperturbed by the deadly toxic water beneath them that they built a $1 million mansion on top of it.
Scott Ely has not proved to be the most credible of witnesses:
Scott had told three different people–a doctor, a hydrologist, and in a handwritten statement to his own lawyer–that the water problems started in August 2008. However, his lawyer has also told the court that they all accept drilling did not start on nearby gas wells until late September/October 2008. So on the witness stand, Scott suddenly remembered–eight years after the case started–that in June/July 2008 he remembered a massive gas leak at a gas well that he was claiming must have affected his water.
Nor has Monica Ely:
She testified that she tried “not to involve our kids with this.” Then the Cabot lawyers pointed out and produced photos (see above) that showed far from sheltering her children Ms Ely had in fact “brought them to press conferences, rallies with people like [actor] Mark Ruffalo, taken them to the Tribeca Film festival,” and had allowed them to be featured in the highly contentious documentary Gasland. Monica Ely: no time to take her children to the doctor even though she thought they were poisoned but plenty of time to take them to rallies with actors and activists.
And the expert witnesses haven’t been of much help either.
Under skillful cross-examination, Professor Ingraffea was forced to admit that he’s an anti-fracking and anti-fossil fuel “advocate.” He denied being an activist, but his face fell when lawyers for Cabot asked to show the jury photographs of him speaking in front of anti-fracking signs and participating in an Artists Against Fracking press conference alongside Ruffalo, Lennon, and Ono.
Even the lawyer for the families, Leslie Lewis, blurted out in open court that she “wasn’t thrilled” that the photos existed.
Nor has the judge been persuaded by the case that the fracking in Dimock has damaged their property values. That’s because, since drilling started, their property value has increased.
All of this has naturally infuriated the powerful and well-funded, celebrity-backed anti-fracking lobby which marshalled its forces over the weekend to try to get the FrackNation page closed down. It did this by repeatedly flagging up McAleer’s posts as “inappropriate.” Facebook responded by imposing a 24 hour ban on the account.
In response McAleer is now asking defenders of the truth to go to his Facebook page and like and share his posts.
Every time you do so, it is almost guaranteed that Yoko Ono will caterwaul like a tortured Siamese, that Mark Ruffalo will burst his sphincter and Leo DiCaprio will become so discombobulated he will wander forlornly into the woods in the hope of being raped chastisingly by one of Mother Gaia’s grizzly bears.