Hundreds Turn Out for FrackNation, Turns into Heated Debate
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - About 1,000 people turned out for Avalon Theatre's showing of "FrackNation" Thursday. The sold out show took a deeper look at the process of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, a controversial topic on the Western Slope. A question and answer session at the end of the documentary stirred several rounds of flared tempers on both sides of the issue. Ann McElhinney, the film's co-director, told NewsChannel 5 the viewing in Grand Junction was the largest showing in the film's history. "FrackNation" was created in response to "Gas Land," an anti-energy development documentary. McElhinney says her team found many discrepancies with claims in that film. They decided to seek out the rest of the story. "We made "FrackNation" for the 99 percent of people whose story isn't being told. We went to the public and we said, 'Will you help us make this film?' The response was overwhelming. So much money was sent in by the first two days that the Los Angeles Times did a story on us," said McElhinney. More than 3,000 people contributed more than $250,000 to fund "FrackNation." The documentary tours the nation, confronting several claims both for and against hydraulic fracturing, to seek the truth. "You can't get away with telling lies. Tell the truth. If there's something bad, lets all hear about it. But don't make stuff up," McElhinney said. At Thursday's showing, attendees expressed a variety of opinions. "I'm skeptical. [The fracking water] gets into the soil, into the water source, and I've seen people sick from environmental contaminants," said Grand Junction resident Kathy Brechtel. "Hydraulic fracturing is safe, clean and responsible. I support it. This is what moves the economy, energy independence," said Eric Ward, another local resident. All could agree on one thing: no matter where you stand, it's worth watching and making your own mind up on. "FrackNation" DVDs are available at the NewsChannel 5 studios at 345 Hillcrest Manor in Grand Junction. Interested parties can also visit www.FrackNation.com .