Wednesday, September 26, 2012

New fracking film starring Matt Damon set for release in December

A new film about hydraulic fracturing will hit theaters this December, but this time it's a feature film, not a documentary. "Promised Land" stars Matt Damon as Steve Butler, a gas company representative who comes to a rural, economically depressed town offering financial salvation in exchange for natural gas drilling leases. The film is being directed by Oscar-nominated director Gus Van Sant, who directed Damon in "Good Will Hunting."

The story behind "Promised Land" is very similar to that of real-life rural town, Dimock, Pa., where a group of residents complained that injection-well drilling caused gas to leak into their water, Mike Soraghan of Energy and Environment News reports. State officials said shoddy drilling contaminated 18 properties, and shut down the company, Cabot Oil & Gas Corp for more than two years. A $4.1 million settlement was eventually reached, giving the homeowners twice the value of their homes and restoring their mineral rights.

The film also stars Frances McDormand and Hal Holbrook, and was written by Dave Eggers, who wrote the book, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. The movie is likely to please environmentalists and critics of drilling while angering drilling companies, Soraghan reports. Energy and Environment News is behind a paywall, but free trials can be accessed here.

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