Wednesday, 30 January 2013

French/German television channel ARTE joins the anti-fracking campaign

The French/German television channel ARTE last night lost whatever was left of its credibility in covering energy matters, by broadcasting the Polish-American film maker Lech Kowalski's anti-fracking "documentary" "Gas-Fieber" (Gas Fever). 

Kowalski, whose most notable film hitherto chronicles the UK punk scene in the 70's, had managed to find a few half hysteric people in Pennsylvania and Poland, who seemed to blame shale gas exploration for almost anything that had gone wrong with their lives. And, of course, Kowalski did not allow any objective studies (which show that there are no “proven cases where the fracking process itself has affected water” - Lisa Jackson, EPA administrator) spoil his anti-fracking message. Neither were any representatives of the shale gas industry given a chance to address the purely anecdotal "evidence". 

The "debate" that followed the "documentary" was another low for ARTE. The French moderator was clearly in the same team with the invited two French anti-fracking activists leaving the cautiously pro shale gas German MEP Michael Paul to play a very minor role. 

The people in charge of Gazprom's anti-fracking campaign must have been very pleased with the evening. If they did not already sponsor this program, Kowalski and ARTE will have no problems finding funding for their next propaganda effort. 

ARTE could have invited e.g. US ambassador to Germany, Philip D. Murphy to participate in the debate. He could have provided all the facts that were lacking in the program. 

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