Video: Fractivists attack -- with a camera -- in Dear Governor Hickenlooper

Fractivist Shane Davis, narrator of the documentary "Dear Governor Hickenlooper." Video below.
This week's cover story, "Frack Attack!," explores the increasingly ambitious anti-fracking movement in Colorado, a state with plenty of oil and gas wells and plenty of people who want to shut 'em down. One sign of the movement's increasing sophistication is the production of a contentious new documentary, Dear Governor Hickenlooper, that's anything but a love letter to the gov. Former geologist Hickenlooper is, of course, a major defender of the state's gung-ho drilling activities -- and a major opponent of the fractivists' efforts to give local governments more authority over regulation of the wells in their midst.

See also: Colorado fracking activists get a nudge (and cash) from MoveOn

Film has proven to be a powerful tool in the fracking wars. Josh Fox's 2010 documentary Gasland helped to launch grassroots groups nationwide concerned about fracking's impacts on health and the environment -- even though its most infamous scene, which shows a Weld County resident using a lighter to set the water from his kitchen sink on fire, has been sharply challenged by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association and state officials, whose investigation concluded that the man's water supply had been contaminated by biogenic (naturally occurring) methane rather than by fracking activity.

Fox's effort helped to inspire the feature film Promised Land and FrackNation, a documentary debunking of Gasland by Irish journalist Phelim McAleer and others.

Dear Governor Hickenlooper is in a somewhat different vein, or shale formation, or whatever. Inspired by Jon Bowermaster's Dear Governor Cuomo, it's a decidedly mixed bag of eleven short films by various filmmakers, each dealing with different aspects of the fracking debate. The melange is knit together by the presence of Shane Davis, operator of The Fractivist blog, who provides some narration and star turns of his own. There's the expected focus on whistle blowers, adverse environmental effects and towns in upheaval, but there are also segments dealing with proposed solutions involving (big surprise) renewable energy sources.

Fractivists expect to be screening the film widely in upcoming weeks -- although no dates or places have been announced since the Denver premiere last month at the Oriental Theater. Expect a counter-documentary to be in the works soon (Dear, Dear Governor Hick?). Check out the official trailer below and find more info about the project on the producers' website.

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Seeing a lot of really fucking stupid comments on here. Hey, how is that two party system working out for everybody, hm? Thats real great if people want to blindly follow a party that is composed of actual politicians that think wind is a finite resource, and that if you harness it you slow it down. Or that women cant get pregnant from rape. Or that the internet is an actual system of tubes. You have the stupidest fucking people in your party that have ever graced the face of this ever-warming planet. Meanwhile, the 'other' party has scumbags like Hickenlooper and our asshole of a mayor working in their court- and a president that appoints heads of major corporations to top government branches and has a kill list. Anybody waving "us vs. them" "left vs.right" "republicans vs. democrats" rhetoric is clearly just a tool in the game of a system that is designed for you to lose in. Youre all complete idiots. Go ahead and laugh at the idea of the Green Party- but at least they arent bought and paid for by assholes who couldnt care less about you and your fat, gross, entitled moronic larvic offspring. You just keep on being manipulated by the two party system, never allowing for any evolution of thought or actual progress. Blindly accepting allegiance to a "side" is what is chopping this ridiculous populace to its knees. Thanks for killing our country, you fucking asshats.

RobertChase topcommenter

The Green Party needs to embrace Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTR); they may be our only hope of beating our addiction to fossil fuels and reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  This intrinsically safe nuclear technology promises abundant, cheap, and carbon-neutral electricity with which we can power our civilization -- so-called "renewable" energy and conservation do not begin to be enough to confront accelerating climate change!  See for more information.


@RobertChase The wrong answer to the wrong question, specifically "how are going to continue living our resource-intensive, American way of life?".

The answer to that question is, "we won't".

So, the real question that needs to be asked is if Americans are going to recognize the double-whammy of Peak Energy and Climate Vandalism and be able to transition to a more modest, sustainable sort of living.

Once again, I suspect the answer will be "we won't".

RobertChase topcommenter

@RustyShackleford  I did not pose your question nor answer it.  Regarding our resource-intensive way of life, there is certainly a middle ground between attempting to continue our present scale of consumption and returning to subsistence farming.  I favor conservation on a scale not now contemplated through mandating the use of 100mpg passenger vehicles, investing in new technologies for mass transit, and other means, but the notion that conservation alone has any prospect of enabling us to forego the use of fossil fuels is baseless.  Thorium really might come close to fulfilling the glib promises made for our inefficient uranium-to-plutonium cycle plants that they would produce "electricity too cheap to meter" and do so without producing carbon dioxide; that we will then have less incentive not to waste energy may be inevitable, but that is no reason not to avail ourselves of technology we need, nor is it inevitable that we will waste the energy it provides.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter


"But bobbie, you are a socialist.  Everyone is to your right. [sic]" -- fistingblues

"What I'd like o [sic] know is " 

-- fishyblueballs

"Were you educated in a third [sic] world country? 

-- fishingforabrain

"It is not my fault nor societies [sic] fault ..."

-- fecalfacedfelchingfool

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