Promised Land Movie | VideoJennifer Joas | 1/7/2013
Promised Land is a newly released movie that tells the story of a natural gas company trying to secure drilling contracts in a rural town. But what starts as a routine operation, quickly raises suspicion when an environmentalist speaks out against fracking.
Viewers we spoke with in Bismarck say the movie is making them reevaluate their opinion of hydraulic fracturing.
"With me it probably would sway me a little bit one way or the other. Just for the fact that, you don`t really know. Are the oil companies like that? This is in a movie, but the way they play both sides," said Bismarck resident Ron Empter.
"I do have to admit they did a pretty good decent job of telling the whole story of the damages that it does to the land and the chemicals that go into it," said Elise Packingan from the Fort Berthold Reservation.
Although the movie focuses on natural gas drilling, compared to oil drilling which happens in the Bakken. It still raises red flags for viewers.
"I think there`s a lot of doubt about it, shallow fracking compared to deep fracking like in the Bakken. But I guess the jury is still out," said Bismarck resident Sam West.
Geologists and state leaders are concerned this doubt could add fuel to the ongoing fire with the Federal Government investigating fracking, and possibly making a law that affects multiple states.
"I welcome the questions, but keep the questions and the discussion honest. I don`t like questions or information coming out from people who are not knowledgeable in fracking," said geologist Kathleen Neset.
"They don`t know what they`re talking about. Get them out here, get them in the patch. Find out what`s going on. If they really want to pay attention to the environment, they need to be interactive with the environment and be on the spot. They`re not and it`s a problem," said former Governor Ed Schafer.
Promised Land finished at number 10 in the box office this weekend.
The Environmental Protection Agency is in the middle of researching hydraulic fracturing operations in several states and whether ground water has been contaminated. It plans to release a draft report of the results in late 2014.