Ann McElhinney

Fri, 2014-01-24 16:00Steve Horn
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Citing DeSmogBlog Series, "FrackNation" Screening Cancelled by MN Film Festival

FrackNation,” the documentary film about hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) with close conservative movement ties, recently had its showing cancelled at Winona, Minnesota's annual Frozen River Film Festival (FRFF).

Citing DeSmogBlog's two-part investigative series published in May 2013 on “FrackNation,” FRFF Director Mike Kennedy told the Winona Post his rationale for cancelling the film is that it was, “pretty apparent they were paid to make these movies to counter Gasland [Part II].”

“DeSmogBlog.com appears to be the main source of allegations that 'FrackNation' was industry-funded,” wrote the Post. “DeSmogBlog claims connections between [film Co-Director Phelim] McAleer and conservative groups, industry groups help[ing] promote the film after its was made, and the fact that McAleer directed an industry-funded documentary in the past, as proof that 'FrackNation' is cut from the same cloth.”

The cancellation has caused a major kerfuffle in conservative media circles, covered by outlets ranging from Fox News, Fox BusinessThe Blaze TVTown Hall, Watchdog.orgHot Air and others. McAleer was a featured guest on “Fox and Friends” on January 23. 

Mon, 2013-07-29 05:00Steve Horn
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LA Times: EPA Censored Key Pennsylvania Fracking Water Contamination Study

A must-read Los Angeles Times story by Neela Banerjee demonstrates that - once again - the Obama administration put the kibosh on a key Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) groundwater contamination, this time in Dimock, Pennsylvania.

Though EPA said Dimock's water wasn't contaminated by fracking in a 2012 election year desk statement, internal documents obtained by LA Times reporter Neela Banerjee show regional EPA staff members saying the exact opposite among friends. 

“In an internal EPA PowerPoint presentation…staff members warned their superiors that several wells had been contaminated with methane and substances such as manganese and arsenic, most likely because of local natural gas production,” writes Banerjee.

“The presentation, based on data collected over 4 1/2 years at 11 wells around Dimock, concluded that 'methane and other gases released during drilling (including air from the drilling) apparently cause significant damage to the water quality.' The presentation also concluded that 'methane is at significantly higher concentrations in the aquifers after gas drilling and perhaps as a result of fracking [hydraulic fracturing] and other gas well work,” Banerjee further explained.

It's essentially a repeat of Steve Lipsky's water contamination by Range Resources in late-2010 in Weatherford, TexasIn that case, EPA conducted a taxpayer funded study, determined Range had contaminated his water, sued Range - and then proceeded to drop the suit and censor the study in March 2012

EPA also recently kicked the can down the road on a high-profile fracking groundwater contamination study in Pavillion, Wyoming, originally set to come out in 2014. That release is now expected in 2016, another election year. Just days after EPA's decision, a Duke University study again linked fracking to groundwater contamination in the Marcellus Shale.

Tue, 2009-09-22 08:50Richard Littlemore
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Climate Week: Denial Never Sleeps

Anti-activists: “Real grassroots; not Astroturf”

Wandering through New York in the early part of Climate Week, climate activists were interrupted periodically by forceful protesters assuring us that climate change is not a scientific reality, it’s a wild-eyed plot by the dastardly Al Gore and his minions to trick us into wrecking the (Exxon?) economy.

When questioned as to whom was funding the most prominent of these protests (in front of the NY Public Library immediately before the opening ceremony), a well-dressed, 30-something pamphleteer said, “We are. We’re real grasroots; not Astroturf.”

This sounds exactly like a guilty conscience. It also sounds, in the vernacular, like bullshit.

Thu, 2009-03-05 13:47Kevin Grandia
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CEI Coal Booster Says Greenhouse Gas is Good For You

There was a small pro-coal rally held in Washington, DC on Monday and the National Wildlife Federation was able to catch snippets of one of the pro-coal keeners talking to the media. The rally was organized by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) as a counter to the 2,000 youth who held a massive rally demanding action on climate change on the same day.

Word on the street is that the 20 or so who rallied in support of coal were mainly CEI staffers, in fact when one of the coal supporters was asked why they were there, his response was, “I don’t know I’m just an intern.”

The woman in the video below is Ann McElhinney, a British filmaker touting her most recent work “Not Evil Just Wrong.”

To give you an idea where McElhiney is coming from, her last film project was called “Mine Your Own Business” which according to the Wikipedia entry “investigate[d] controversial proposed mining projects in impoverished villages.” The film, “portrays western environmentalists as wealthy elites who are working counter to the interests of the local people.”

The pro-mining film was financed by a Canadian mining company Gabriel Resources Ltd., which is the same foreign corporation that at the time was looking to develop Roşia Montană as an open pit gold mine.

So a leap from pro-mining to pro-coal to arguing that CO2 is good for us wasn’t a hard one for Ms. McElhinney.

Here’s a partial transcript:

“I’ve been around this country making our film and people are driving their white cars… snow white, so if you look at this idea of black stuff coming out, it’s not. C02 is not dangerous. C02 is what you push into greenhouses to make things grow this is a good thing, you know.”

And here’s the video:

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