“From wherever you stood, the opposing side offered respectable, credible views. In today's fractured culture the evening struck a blow for civility.”

- The Huffington Post

More praise for IQ2 US

The Fracking Debate Continues with "Promised Land"

By IQ2US Staff — January 07, 2013

Focus Features has recently released Promised Land, a movie about hydraulic fracking.


Matt Damon stars as Steve Butler, a corporate salesman who tries to pitch the sale of natural gas production on a town hit hard by economic decline. What seemed like an easy sales pitch, promising to boost the town’s revenue even before the drilling started, became a hard sell once environmental activist Dustin Noble, played by John Krasinski, arrives and becomes the voice of those opposed to hydraulic fracking in their backyards. This move, directed by Gus Van Sant, demonstrates the overall issues involved in rural towns across the US, which are affected by the energy industry. The process of hydraulic fracking has made a great bang among rural communities; fracking makes it possible to tap into natural gas reservoirs deep underground, but what dangers lie ahead?

In July 2012, IQ2US traveled to Aspen Ideas Festival and hosted the debate “No Fracking Way: The Natural Gas Boom Is Doing More Harm Than Good.” The live audience voted FOR the motion finding that fracking is doing more harm than good:


Exploring both sides of fracking, our debaters discussed the natural energy boom and its effects. Debating for the motion was Deborah Goldberg, Managing Attorney at Earth Justice and Katherine Hudson, Watershed Program Director at Riverkeeper. Our debaters for the motion cited the toxic repercussions of fracking—such as polluted water and dying animals. Debating against the motion was Joe Nocera, Op-Ed Columnist, The New York Times  and Sue Tierney, Managing Principal at Analysis Group. Our debaters against the motion proposed that fracking is a route to energy independence and a source of job growth. Watch the panel in action with the video below:

Full Video "No Fracking Way: The Natural Gas Boom Is Doing More Harm Than Good"

Fracking Full-Video-Thumbnail


Joe Nocera: Fracking Is A Tremendous Gift



Deborah Goldberg: Fracking Feeds Fossil Fuel Addiction



Or listen to the debate edited for NPR or download the podcast here.

Also available is our extensive research library with positions from the panelists, articles and publications about the debate.

Where do you stand today? Do you think Fracking Does More Harm Than Good? Cast your vote here.


  • Comment Link Kamilla Sunday, 10 February 2013 14:03 posted by Kamilla

    Friends of Coal did this in West Virginia, as pilloried by Rachel Maddow. Mountain Top Removal and COPD are our fnireds, you know. It's up to parents to take an active role to protect their kids from being transformed into corporate tools, like are governor and statehouse. Parents-with-advanced university degrees are leading the anti-fracking charge in Morgantown, WV. I went to this meeting, and it was like the opening stanzas of a revolution.

  • Comment Link Bean Wednesday, 06 February 2013 21:19 posted by Bean

    It's not reasonable for a bad actor (a bad actor is a company that disregards environmental regulations) to endanger the health and safety of Pennsylvanians. The industry has only itself to blame for the negative reaction Pennsylvanians have. In the first place, we've been there and done that with coal barons and are familiar with the ravages of badly regulated minerals development. In the second place, the industry has never been bluntly honest with Pennsylvanians about the negative impacts of gas extraction. They spin, they mount slick TV PR and propaganda campaigns, they buy off our government, they spend little to clean up their acts, behaving like we're Texas and Oklahoma and they can cut whatever corners they want. Why should we welcome them with open arms? Or even trust them?

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.