Learn the truth about Truthland. (link is now fixed)

UPDATE from the comments: It appears that Shelly DePue who is indeed a farmer from rural Pennsylvania, is not all that independent after all. LittleSis has all the details but here are some juicy bits.

And despite her claim that environmental hazards are “unfounded” she experienced some on her own property.

Unfortunately, the environmental and health concerns about fracking that Truthland’s protagonist, Shelly Depue, determined to be “unfounded” after her trip have become a reality on her own property. In March, after a DePue neighbor outside Montrose, PA reported sludgy water and an “erupting” water well that was also determined to have unusually high methane levels, the Scranton Times-Tribune investigated and found that Tulsa, OK-based drilling company WPX Energy had been cited for environmental violations on multiple nearby wells in 2011, including on the Depues’ property, which they had leased to WPX (then Williams Production Appalachia) in July 2010. The violations were for “defective casing or cement … meant to protect aquifers [which contain drinking water] from gas and other fluids.”

Maybe DePue had to make this awful video before the frackers would clean up the mess on her land.

DePue’s neighbors

About Sharon Wilson

Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.


  1. says

    Truthland is pretty lame – starting with the goofy title . . .

    Another fracking infomercial mockumentary

    From a bunch of fracking shale $hills . . . go figure

    • says

      My son and I actually cracked up laughing. We plugged into the TV and watched it from there. He said, “That is an insult to the intelligence of ignorant rednecks everywhere.”

      Over the top HO-KEY.

      • says

        TXSharon what a racist and ignorant comment. It is people like you who stand up and say mixed marriages are ok as long as it’s not my child, Let’s face it the only ignorance I see here is in the fear people bought into from watching Gaslies. A movie that Joshing Fox proudly stated “”Has its entertainment value” at the Sundance Awards.

        • says

          Most of us here LIVED Gasland before we ever watched it. We were not against drilling and even thought it was a good idea. When they drilled near us, and we saw the reality instead of the landman’s shiny brochure, when our water and air were polluted, and property devalued, and our health affected, then we changed our minds.

          It’s interesting what a good dose of reality does for I hope you never have to experience that reality.

      • Jim Holstun says

        Amid the pablum soundtrack of guitar, dobro, harmonica, and Cajun fiddles, I kept asking myself, “where’s the banjo?” But Josh Fox staked that out in Gasland. . . .

        I think it would make a good double bill with REEFER MADNESS

    • says


      You are an obtuse person who worked for the industry as a an accounting officer never even visiting a well pad and with no knowledge of the process. You put your thirty years in as a numbers person and to that extent that’s all. Now because you bought a home in Cooperstown NY to retire you expect lifelong residents of NY to bypass this opportunity so you can sit on your deck and enjoy peace and quit while you look over our land and expect us not to use it for anything that will upset you. Sorry pal, you did well for yourself and also have mom and dads money so your set, but many of us are struggling and this drilling will ease the pain. It’s our land and our right and like in Boston we will sacrifice freedom and liberty in the pursuit of justice if need be

      • anon says

        r u threatening violence?

        what if they drill on ur land and it pollutes ur neighbor? who is liable 4 that? better check ur lease.

        times r hard but i never want to do something that hurts my neighbors.

      • Shale Drillin says

        I think you should do whatever you want with your property. If you want to frack it all up, perfectly fine with me. The problem is, the decision you make will affect the people and the properties that surround you. When something goes wrong (notice I said WHEN, not IF) after you sign a drilling lease with Jackass Drilling Company, and they spill, and leak, and violate the law, and illegally dump crap in the streams and creeks, and they all operate under a ‘self regulatory’ system, I think that makes YOU just as liable as Jackass Drilling Company. In fact, I think we need to start suing the mineral right owners who makes these ill-informed decisions, especially the GREEDY ones.

        • Your Neighbor says

          I think that would be great if someone sued Sharon Wilson for signing a lease with Braden Exploration!

  2. says

    Goofy title: Not as goofy as that awful droning voice in Gasland that is so monotonous that it makes otherwise sane people look forward to banjos.
    As for insulting the intelligence of people, at least they don’t manipulate people as Fox did. I think that Sharon’s son statements show something: This is really about Trust Fund Babies like Fox, who have never had to work a day in their lives so they can sit on their butt thinking they are an “artist” as they contemptuously throw away $100K and insist every one “redneck do the same.

    BTW Do you add Lisa Jackson, (and her boss) to the Shale Shill list.
    Do you guys hate gas so much that you will sit the election out and let Obama in? I bet you think you are so liberal and enlightened. As a true progressive, people like you are just as great enemies of working people as Cheney ever was. At least he was honest in his hatred of the “little people”.

    • says

      Just FYI, Nick: My son is hardly a “Trust Fund” baby. He has spent much of his life in poverty. We lived in a home with no heat and no air for three years.

      Let’s see: Safe water & clean air or $100k. Not much of a choice there if you know the facts.

    • anon says

      “Nick Grealy is director of the energy consultancy No Hot Air, specialising in public perception and acceptance issues of shale energy worldwide. Born in the UK, Nick moved to New York City in his teens and lived in the United States for over two decades.”

      so it’s your job to make the public accept shale gas worldwide?

      • Andy Mechling says

        thanks anon,
        Hey Nick;

        I’m curious, would you care to inform us if you are here on your own time . . . or on behalf of clients. Please elaborate.

        It would be interesting to know if “No Hot Air” actually has any clients. Personally, I would be very surprised to find out that “No Hot Air” actually has any clients who would actually be step forward and admit to as much, but we’ll see.

        For my perspective, you come across as less-than-credible, and really quite a blow-hard.

        Like Sharon Wilson and most of the regular contributors here, I am neither anti-gas nor anti-shale gas development, but remain very concerned about the safety of some of the current oilfield practices.

        But then again, I’m a proud American, and I can see that you are not, Nick. I happen to be proud of our President, and have more respect for the former VP than to smear him recklessly the way you choose to.

        I live in Southwestern Oregon, not far from the proposed route of pipeline from Malin, OR to the Jordan Cove LNG terminal in Coos Bay.

        That project is going to face serious opposition locally, and I don’t think anyone doubts this. How industry decides to handle this opposition absolutely matters. Our communities matter.

        One thing is certain. If industry PR comes into Oregon trying to run down our country and its elected leaders the way you choose to Nick, things are going to get ugly.

        I hope industry comes up with better.

        God save the Queen. huh?

        • says

          Knowing what we know, it’s really difficult to imagine that shale gas extraction can EVER be safe. Since the shale they want is under very populated neighborhoods in North Texas, they had to come up with a way to make everyone feel safe about this heavy industrial mining. They did it with a healthy dose of people who couldn’t be bothered by any of it.

        • Nick Grealy says

          For the record, I’m a small r republican most definetly not a monarchist. Maybe my typo confused things, but I think Barack Obama is the greatest, if sometimes disappointing to the left, President since FDR, so if I gave the impression I’m against him I’d want to correct that.
          My point is that people like Fox and Ruffalo, through their misinformed obsession with gas, may let in Romney by sitting the election out. Which would be as bad for the world as for the US.

          • anon says

            we need 2 shut fox & ruffalo up so they don’t hurt obama’s chance at a 2nd term. oh frack me! what r we 2 do?

            wait, r u trying to manipulate me? man, u r 1 clever gashole. i almost bought it.

        • says

          It is not safe for some people to use their real names because the Big Oil & Gas Mafia is aggressive in trying to silence any opposition, which they like to call “insurgents.”

          I’m just humbled by your bravery.

    • mg81992 says

      Nick: Your attempt to spin the efforts of people like Josh Fox and Sharon Wilson to protect their fellow citizens from the devastating impacts of fracking as some kind of elitism is hilarious, but it will not wash. Josh Fox is no “trust fund” baby. He’s from a middle class family, lives simply, and works incredibly hard.

      • Nick Grealy says

        I wish I could work as hard. $ 150 K from the Park Foundation and $850k from HBO and $7500 appearance fee. Even in my neighborhood that doesn’t seem “middle class” to me. His career as theatre director previously seems to me that he didn’t need a real job to pay off his Columbia (middle class?!) tuition. He also has two homes. Middle class? Are you sure! Sounds if not one per cent, at least three!

        • says

          When I first met Josh, he was driving around the country in a beat up old car, which he slept in part of the time. Sometimes he slept on people’s floors. He didn’t have any money and he went heavily into debt trying to promote Gasland.

          I think Josh is a good example of a “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” success story. Don’t you?

    • says

      Yo, @Nick Grealy. Why isn’t there anywhere to leave a comment on your lovely web site? Did I miss that? You could get all those followers you long for that way. I think you’ve made some excellent points…would love to disagree with them. Living in gasland as many of us do, seeing the fracking mess all around, makes it all very real. Your comments are really offensive since you seem to see think this is all made up. xxoo

      • WCGasette says

        Oh, I see there is a place to make comments after all. Couldn’t see it earlier. Magic.

    • Nick Grealy says

      Just noticed a BIG typo, sorry to confuse. Should have read….to let Romney in.

  3. Shale Drillin says

    Oh, looky, another gas industry apologist with a pro-drilling website-and just like many of the others, cannot stand criticism-otherwise known as the TRUTH-being posted on their blogs, so they don’t permit it to begin with. When there is no discourse, and just a one way street, then it’s just propaganda.

    I actually enjoy and look forward to posts from the Shannons and Nicks of the world. They say their piece, Sharon is fair in posting it, then in a matter of minutes, they get shot down in flames. Every time. So as much as I look forward to more of fun filled posts from Nick, he’ll go away just all the others before him.

    We’ll miss you, Nick.

  4. David says

    You would think big O&G would do a little research into the background of the star in their propaganda piece.

    “A Susquehanna County family whose well water contains high levels of methane and metals filed suit against a natural gas drilling company in federal court Monday alleging drilling damaged their water and property.

    Tammy and Matthew Manning of Franklin Twp. said WPX Energy and two associated companies contaminated the aquifer through spills and poorly constructed gas wells in a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

    Citing state Department of Environmental Protection violations documented at six natural gas wells on two WPX well pads, known as the Hollenbeck and Depue, the family argued that the companies were negligent in drilling and operating the wells.”

    • anon says

      heh! sorry about ruining your water. we can bring you some new water. but you have to make a little film first.

  5. says

    Hello Sharon,
    Finally, the curtain has been pulled wide open on Truthland and…and…and…it’s the very same highfalutin cast including Chesapeake founder McClendon who pays fancy lackeys day in and day out to sell pollutive gas drilling as clean natural gas…. how does it go?… “All the kings horses and all the kings men, couldn’t put Aubrey together again….”
    Thanks for your tenacious efforts to reveal the whole truth about “Truthland”.

    • Nick Grealy says

      McLendon is wrong about all politics, but dead right about shale. George Mitchell, the father of modern shale is actually a liberal environmentalist. Another very big fan of shale is George Soros, a real hate figure to the US right.
      Opposition to shale shouldn’t be a litmus test for progressives. Obama and Cuomo (and me) are proof of that.

      • says

        Unfortunately, nothing succeeds without considering the Big Picture. Major failures are avoidable. Sometimes the stars line up all wrong.

        ‘Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down? That’s not my department,’ says Wernher von Braun.” Once the frack fluid is pumped down, who cares where it goes?

        Research and Development Failure?”>

      • says

        Nick, Nick, Nick, I lived in Wise County and George Mitchell was my neighbor.

        Fracking effects all people no matter what their politics are. Some people might support fracking because a) it is hard to get a man to understand something when his paycheck depends on him not understanding, or b) they have no direct experience.

  6. says

    Sharon, glad to see I’m making an impact. All publicity is good publicity. Most of these I won’t dignify with a reply, or at least not now, but I have two serious questions for you. Please understand that I’m trying to open a dialogue that is physically impossible under the Twitter 144 character limit. Exceeded that already!
    And please. Answer the questions. Do not dismiss me as industry shill. My kids have this annoying habit of eating and since the industry pay me for something I believe in, what’s the deal with that. I’m not that desperate that I stoop to say things only because I get paid to do it. I never, ever forget that I that have alternatives. I’m perfectly happy to go drive a bus or a cab or get a real job. I don’t’ lie for money. I’m very lucky that I get paid to say what I believe in. Not many do and I don’t forget it.
    Q1. Your site says at the top “Drilling Reform”. I can deal with that. The International Energy Agency and European Union and Polish and UK government standards, which are stronger than many (but not all, the NYS proposals are damn good!) US states’ regulations say that shale gas drilling can be done in an environmentally acceptable way. “Drilling Reform” would infer to me that drilling could continue. But the message I get from your tweets and otherwise is that all tracking is so hideously and inherently dangerous that we have to call the whole thing off. Which one is it? The Ruffalo/Fox tendency seems to think gas is so dangerous, that we teeter so much on the side of catastrophe, that it has to be immediately shut down. What’s your position?
    2. I note your tweet that you live off grid, and why can’t everyone else. My question is don’t you realise how fortunate you are to do that, but please don’t condemn those who don’t. The Barnett is warm, sunny, at relatively low latitude and whenever I’m there very, very windy. I also assume you have a single family home with some land. My question is that how are people who live in apartment buildings or higher latitudes or simply cloudy cold places like London (my heating is still being used in mid-June and it hasn’t stopped raining for at least two months!) Please realise that you are fortunate. That’s lucky, not BETTER, than other people. I wish I could live off grid.
    I also note that there are billions of people in the world who live off grid in Africa and India who want to live on it. What do you say to them? The lifeboat is full and they should welcome being ahead of the curve in the (in)voluntary simplicity movement.
    So the rambling question finally is: Do you realise how fortunate you are?

    • Tim Ruggiero says

      Sharon will likely respond, but I’d like to as well. I agree, the name infers drilling will continue. Do you have some reason to believe it won’t anyway? I’m not going to speak for Sharon, only myself. I’d say if were truly up to me, it would continue. But a great deal of other things would stop happening, and few other things would start; First and foremost, drilling companies must have respect for property owners and their health, and so the mineral right owners that not only sign themselves up for it, but all of their neighbors, too, whether they want to or not. Drilling must also be done responsibly and with care. Nothing irritates me more than watching these idiotic TV commercials from ANGA or some other Industry front group touting the use of ‘new technology that virtually eliminates emissions’ and ‘leak proof valves.’ What total bullshit. Having the newest technology on your show site and all the while implying it’s a matter of course is deceptive at best.

      Enough with the Matt Pitzarella’s and Julie Wilson’s and their constant spin, distortion and outright lies. It’s one thing to minimize a problem, it’s just plain wrong to lie about it. And, unless you’ve really not been paying attention, they lie constantly. What’s worse, is when a General Counsel lies, and then threatens a suit if we don’t stop talking abut it.

      The regulatory agencies should not have any political affiliation whatsoever. They need to be bi-partisan, and do their damn job, not coddle Industry like small children. I’ve lost count of how many times the TRRC could have imposed a serious fine (which is supposed to cause you to not repeat that act) but decided to do nothing because the 18,000 gallon toxic waste spill was ‘unintentional’. Even more bullshit. I could go on and on, but here’s the Bottom line: Drill right, Suck Less. You should be able to figure out what that means.

      As far as Sharon being ‘fortunate’, I guess it all depends on your perspective. If you’re actually going to compare her to the near death poor of Africa and India, then yes, she’s fortunate. We all are, compared to that.

      Sharon is fortunate in many ways; She certainly found a great calling, and puts countless hours into it, all for what you paid for your car. She lives in a modest home, no ‘land’ as you call it, drives a very fuel efficient car, and uses things like solar ovens to cook meals. If you’re in trouble, she’s who you call. If you have a gas company show up in your back yard expectantly, Sharon Wilson is who you call first. She’ll shine a very bright light on those cockroaches and it will force them to change their behavior. (especially when that company keeps making the front page news and not in a good way) If it weren’t for Sharon, I likely would not have been able to get my family out of the sacrifice zone.

      Lastly, just once…once…I’d like to hear a Matt Pitzarella say “We were wrong, and we’re going to do everything we have to to fix it, no matter the cost.” But we won’t, because Pitzarella is a pathological liar of the paid variety kind.

    • says

      Nick, you really don’t know a damn thing about me and your argument are lame and tired. They’ve all been shot down many times before. I have learned from our Twitter exchanges that you are not sincere in learning anything so I won’t waste my time here.

      BTW, I’m not off the grid. I chose to contract for100% wind and solar energy.

  7. Dumb redneck says

    Maybe someone more enlightened than I can help a “dumb Texas redneck” understand what the point is, if in fact Shelly DuPre’s water WAS contaminated. She said, during the movie, that it DOES happen rarely, and that in those instances, the gas companies take care of the problem. So what’s your point? Also have not heard one single person comment on the intentionally misleading comments in Gasland. If you don’t feel safe living your life with fracking occuring anywhere in the country, I understand that…crazy people live their lives inside for more trivial reasons. The point is, Gasland is largely fictitious, and Truthland was produced to set the record straight. Bring facts to the table or stay inside.

    • Dumb redneck says

      Let me say a few things because I do think you bring up a fair point. First, I don’t see any proof that the two were related (although I’m sure that’s debatable from both sides). Second, I didn’t see anything in there that was life threatening for humans. Finally, how exactly do you propose that we produce energy in this country? If fracking for oil and gas are out, what do you want us to do? We can’t conjure it out of thin air, alternative energy is not a viable solution to the problem, and the list of people harmed by coal would be about 3 miles longer and include a massive amount of deaths. Believe it or not, the car you drive, the heat and ac you enjoy, and even the computer you’re typing on needs energy for power. How exactly are we supposed to produce that energy?

      • says

        Well, hell! Then I guess the only thing to do is to section off huge parts of America and sacrifice everyone who lives there. /sarcasm

          • says

            I won’t waste my time going over information I’ve already provided especially for someone who is posing as something they are not and who clearly discounts evidence provided. You CAN use Google, right? The solutions are out there and they don’t involved poisoning water and fouling air.

  8. says

    At least this fracking crock of flowback from Energy in Depth / Chesapeake should be good for a few laughs in Gasland II . . . .

    No Oscar buzz for this one

    No HBO deal,

    Just straight to the round file

  9. Andy Mechling says


    Thanks for correcting your error. You meant to trash Romney, not Obama. Now your earlier comments begin to make some kind of sense; I guess.

    Excuse me though, for not caring one bit about some Londoner’s opinion of who should be president in this country.

    Nick, I will ask you again: Who are you working for? Is this an American company? Or do you think this matters?

    You want our natural gas in London, you want it now and you want it cheap. We get it Nick. Bloody well right.

    All publicity is good publicity? Is that what you tell your clients?

    No wonder you cant list any.

  10. GhostBlogger says

    PA’s DEP is being secretive about fracking spills:

    “DEP records show Texas-based Range Resources Corp. was responsible for a stream discharge, a drilling fluid leak and an overturned tanker spilling brine in Amwell — all of which township officials learned about weeks later from workers, Barale said. “DEP keeps you in the dark, anyhow. So I don’t have much faith in them,” he said.”

  11. GhostBlogger says

    RRC & Pitzarella strikes again! Good stuff in that piece for any future legal proceedings with them, since it sounds like they continue to embarrass their own company quite well, so it’s hard to slander them:

    “The state’s records can be misinterpreted, he said. What DEP classified as a “stream discharge” in Amwell instead was 200 barrels of brine water in a roadside channel that leads to a lined pond the company created to hold spills, Sunday said.

    “It’s just the way they have to enter these things in, which is very, very confusing,” said Matt Pitzarella, Range’s spokesman. “Unfortunately, you have mechanical errors, but they’re engineered so that when these things happen, we’re able to excavate it, and there’s no impact to the environment, including the one with the stream.”

    Range agreed in April to pay $18,025 for some violations in Amwell and in Hopewell, Washington County, but a resolution to this spill is pending, Pitzarella said.”

    42 x 200 = 8400 gallons. That does not sounds minor!

    • GhostBlogger says

      “Drillers failed to properly report nearly a third of pollution incidents as required, according to the list of violations.”

      If they get you in Court again, ask Range Resources how many spills THEY neglected to report!

      “Workers for Williams Companies Inc. illegally dumped sediment and allowed a drilling fluid pit to overflow at separate well sites in Derry in 2011. Williams agreed to pay a $15,500 fine.”

      “Municipal leaders in Center in Greene County met with department officials after Downtown-based EQT Corp. spilled 480 gallons of diesel fuel into Patterson Run in December, said Edward “Butch” Deter, chairman of the township’s board of supervisors and president of Center Township Volunteer Fire Department, Company 91. Local leaders didn’t know about the spill until the Tribune-Review notified them in March.”

      Don’t worry, people, these spills are of no threat to the public until they read about them in the newspaper.

    • says

      Pitz always says there is no impact to the environment and that it was just water. He gets paid quite well to tell lies.

  12. Jane Lynn says

    The truth about Truthland is that they did not allow me to post my comment on their video. It was not ugly, mean, or inappropriate. I just wanted people to hear my firsthand account of what it is really like living next to a gas mining site. The woman in that documentary hasn’t experienced what I have experienced.

  13. GhostBlogger says

    “In Marshall County, the DEP shows a pair of unabated violations in the name of Chief Oil and Gas for “sediment and debris impacts to streams.”

    Last year, California-based Chevron took control of the former Chief and AB Resources operations in Marshall County. Chevron soon halted operations at many of these wells to improve safety at the sites.”

  14. Nancy Lee says

    Great reporting Sharon. You would have thought they would have fact-checked their own narrator.

  15. says

    I am all for protesting and fighting against something that you do not believe in but at least make sure that your arguments are factual.

    Truthland states in the movie that most well problems are associated with cementing issues, casing leaks and surface spills. Cementing issues and leaks have NOTHING to do with fracking and occur in wells that have not been fracked. Surface spills can be an issue and companied should be inspected to make sure that they follow regulations regarding containment and clean up.

    None of these problems have anything to do with the fluid injected into the well. Several studies, including a recent one by the University of Texas at Austin have found NO proven cases of drinking water being contaminated by fracking. Now some people might say that the people performing the studies are biased and bought off by big money from oil and gas companies but if you look at it critically that is not a valid argument for one very simple reason. There are very deep pockets that are against natural gas development that would love to see an end to fracking. One very good example of this is the coal industry.

    In order for power plants to meet tought pollution standards many are switching from coal to natural gas. Natural gas is a cleaner source of energy that even “clean coal”. If it could be done the coal industry would happily bankroll a study that tied fracking to ground water contamination.

    Even the commenters on this website make my point without meaning to do it. They happily gloat that Shelly has a leaking well and her ground water is contaminated. It is a leaking well due to a faulty annulus. This was in no way caused by fracking.

    By all means go and protest, but please protest the right things with valid points.

    • says

      Nice job on those industry supplied talking points but we the people who live on the land in the middle of fracking–you don’t–do not accept industry’s narrow definition of fracking. It’s easy to talk about how safe fracking is when you don’t have to live with it.

      Without sex, there is no pregnancy.

      Without fracking there is no shale gas or oil. Nada. None. Zero.

      Oh, and natural gas is not cleaner than coal if you consider the life-cycle of the process.

      • says

        Nice job dismissing my valid arguments as “industry talking points”. You still can’t show me one scientific study that definitively ties fracking to ground water contamination.

        Shale oil and gas are not the only producers of oil and gas. There are still plenty of traditional reservoirs here in Texas that produce natural gas and oil. All of the problems you are rallying against as being caused by fracking can and do exist in wells that were never fracked. Your arguments loose credibility when you blame the wrong process. You should be fighting against any oil or gas well and not just shale wells.

        And yes I do live in Texas and I do live in the middle of frackland.

        You are blaming a hole in the fence for the dog getting out and completely ignoring the wide open gate.

        As far as coal being cleaner than gas please show me one scientific study supporting your claim. I am a geologist and a scientist, I like facts and scientific peer reviewed studies, not people’s opinions from somebodies blog.

        • says

          You should stick around and read some more then maybe you can find what you need. I just posted today that the USGS confirmed the EPA’s findings in Pavilion.

          Look up the Cornell study that compares coal to gas. It’s peer reviewed.

          I’ve posted many peer reviewed studies on this blog but I’m not going to do your homework for you. I have a feeling no matter what evidence we produced you would try to dispute it. I’m done wasting my time with those kind of people.