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Fracking Debate Brings Movie Directors and Opposing Viewpoints To Broome County

Two documentaries, one topic , two different perspectives.

On Wednesday, the fracking debate was back in the spotlight as two directors screened their documentaries:  Phelim McAleer's FrackNation and Josh Fox's Gasland 2.
Hundreds came out West Middle School to view Gasland 2, the sequel to an HBO documentary that highlighted what Fox says are  the environmental dangers of natural gas drilling.

"This is about another layer of investigation.  The first film was 
investigating drilling.  This film is investigating our government reaction or lack there of," said Josh Fox, director of Gasland 2.

At the American Legion in Vestal, McAleer's film drew a crowd of pro-frackers.

He says Gasland was the inspiration for his documentary and doesn't refer to FrackNation as a pro-fracking film but as "pro-truth."

"Most documentaries about fracking interview people crying, emotional, saying they're sick.  I go one deeper.  I ask for the medical report for the scientific report," said Phelim McAleer, director of FrackNation.

Fox says he entered the fracking debate as a skeptic but says his films are based on thorough investigative reporting backed by thousands of pages of research.

"The overwhelming majority of reporting on the subject shows exactly what's in this film.  Gasland 1 about water contamination and pollution.  It's the oil and gas industry that have done a lot to try to misinform people and create a debate," said Fox.

So the fracking debate continues and it's a debate McAleer would like to have with Fox while he's in town..

"Let's have a debate.  We got the media here, let's get a studio and let's set aside a half hour and have a debate.  I'll bring some evidence from the EPA and he can produce whatever he wants, his scare stories, his lawsuits, and we'll let the public decide," said McAleer.

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