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Fracking Documentary Begins Ohio Tour

IMAGE: A documentary making its debut in Ohio today paints a picture of what could happen in the Buckeye State as the result of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Image: Film tour poster.
IMAGE: A documentary making its debut in Ohio today paints a picture of what could happen in the Buckeye State as the result of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Image: Film tour poster.
September 10, 2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A documentary making its debut in Ohio today paints a picture of what could happen in the Buckeye State as the result of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in gas and oil deposits deep underground. The release of the film "Triple Divide" follows an 18-month investigation into the negative impacts from shale gas industrial development in Pennsylvania and uncovers negligence and endangerment of public and environmental health.

According to film co-producer Melissa Troutman, it's a cautionary tale for states such as Ohio where fracking is just starting to boom.

"A lot of folks assume that their government and the industry are doing everything they possibly can, and in some cases they are and in some cases they're not, and folks really need to know that, so we're not left with a situation that could have been prevented."

Joshua Pribanic, who also co-produced the film, said it's a unique piece of work because it presents the facts, without bias, and tells the story of the effect of fracking on homeowners.

"In real time you're going to be able to see what the effects are on someone when they have, for instance, flaring next to their property," he said. "You can see the emotional reactions that go through those people and all these different important details."

Melissa Troutman said there is a lot of misleading information out there about fracking. She hopes film viewers walk away with a better understanding of the situation.

"It's a solid body of evidence: it's not based on hyperbole or anything of that nature; it's just the truth and it's really awesome to watch and listen to," she said. "The soundtrack's beautiful, the cinematography is beautiful."

The film will be shown in nine Ohio cities this month, starting today at the Gateway Film Center in Columbus. Each screening begins with an introduction by the filmmakers and ends with a question-and-answer session with fracking experts.

More information on Ohio screenings is at the Ohio Environmental Council's website theoec.org.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH