Steven Unterseher of Smiley’s Energy Service in Fairview, Montana reported the eastbound Amtrak Empire Builder #8 train hit a bulldozer in Trenton, North Dakota around 7:15 PM MDT on July 29, 2013. The operator of the bulldozer was life lifted from the scene to the Mercy Medical Center in Williston, ND hospital where he passed away from his injuries.

Stranded Amtrak Empire Builder #8 after hitting bulldozer near Trenton, ND Stranded Amtrak Empire Builder #8 after hitting bulldozer near Trenton, ND

The accident was caused by the construction company not providing a flagger with the Amtrak train was coming around a corner and the engineer not seeing the bulldozer on the track ahead of him. Road 1804 is under construction and parallels the tracks between Trenton and Highway 58. First report is no one on the train was hurt but passengers were not allowed to disembark to get rides with waiting friends. Amtrak is waiting for another diesel engine to arrive and take over for the damaged one.

A hole in the front of the engine from the train was observed along with severe damage to the bulldozer sitting on the track.

Scene after the train accident in Trenton, ND Scene after the train accident in Trenton, ND

The Amtrak Empire Builder #8 disruption happened between Wolf Point and Williston near Trenton, North Dakota at 7 PM MDT. A paramedic in western North Dakota said, “The [lead] engine is smashed and the front is off the tracks with the second engine leaking a lot of diesel fuel. The Empire Builder #8 east bound started moving again after relief engines arrived at 2:25 AM MDT, and took the #8 Amtrak train to Trenton using NS 8043, NS 8021, AMTK 21, and AMTK 91 for power.

Dick Reed and his wife, who live in McMinnville, Oregon, are on the train while Amtraking to Little Rock via Chicago. Dick Reed said that it was pretty hot in the coach because of the lack of HEP* but after the night air started cooling off outside the crew opened doors to try to get a little air circulation to the passengers.

Another picture of the  Amtrak versus Bulldozer accident.  The damaged bulldozer is to the right of the tree. Another picture of the Amtrak versus Bulldozer accident. The damaged bulldozer is to the right of the tree.

*Head End Power is a system of electrical power distribution on a passenger train in which a power source in a central location on the train (usually a locomotive or a generator car) generates all the electricity for “hotel” power (non-traction, or non-motive power uses) needed by the train. Virtually all modern passenger trains have their electrical needs met in this fashion. The acronym HEP is its common usage.

This article and pictures can be re-published with attribution to the author: Bob van der Valk – Managing Editor – Bakken Oil Business Journal. Pictures were taken by Steven Unterseher of Fairview, Montana

By: Bob van der Valk
July 30, 2013 6 AM MDT

The 20 million barrels of drawdown in a sluggish economy
By: Dian Chu – EconMatters

In the last two weeks crude oil inventories fell by a record 20 million barrels, this event has not happened in over 30 years of historical data. So what the heck is going on here? It is not the case this is the best economy in the last 30 years. It sure isn’t the case Americans are using more fuel right now compared with any other time period during the last 30 years.

Peak Demand Era

In fact, the US market is maturing and using less fuel these days for several reasons like available subsidized alternative energy, higher fuel efficiencies, fuel blending requirements, and a struggling economy with the highest rate of population on food stamps.

Supplies at Record Highs

Sure refiners are running at their highest rate of the year in the 92% range, but that is all normal for this time of the year. Yet this two week drawdown has never happened before, and curiously it happened as supplies were at record highs.

Increase in Domestic Production Matches Reduction in Imports

Something is rotten in Denmark and it appears there is some funny business going on once again in the oil market. What makes the drawdown even more suspicious is domestic production was very high the last two weeks at 7.2 and 7.4 million barrels per day, with imports down to 7.4 and 7.5.

The imports are low when compared to last year, which was 8.6 million barrels for the same week a year ago. At first blush this may the reason for the drawdown, just take a million barrels per day times seven days in a week, and it adds up to a 7 million barrels weekly deficit.

But then you compare domestic production to last year and it is up 1 million barrels per day compared to this time last year. So the trend of replacing Saudi oil with domestic oil continues on its natural course given the recent industry trends.

US crude oil imports have reversed itself in from 60-40 in 2000 to 40-60 percent in 2013

Where is Saudi and Nigerian Oil Going?

A couple of points worth noting: What is Saudi Arabia doing with their extra capacity now that they are no longer exporting this oil to the US? It sure isn’t going to China; it is not like their economy is booming right now. It sure isn’t Europe as they are a mature market with automobile sales at 20 year lows and high unemployment!

I know that there is a lot of Nigerian Oil just sitting on tankers waiting for buyers because the United States isn’t importing as much of this oil given the higher quality domestic production, but what about Saudi Arabia? What are they doing with the overproduction of crude oil, which used to be exported to the US?

What Is The Real Reason Tanker Rates are Rising?

Tanker rates have been rising lately. Is the real reason they are rising a vast amount of crude oil is being taken off the market then stored in ports around the world to artificially raise prices? It wouldn’t be the first time this price firming trading gimmick has been utilized by the big players in the industry. It is not because Saudi Arabia has reduced production in a significant manner. To account for where their excess capacity, with most of it destined for delivery to the US, is now being delivered the only explanation a vast amount of crude oil is being stored in Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCC) in ports around the world.

Managing the Market

But the trend is clear; If Saudi Arabia was sending the same amount of crude oil to the US and along with the increase in US domestic production currently, oil prices could be much lower. They are trying to manage crude oil prices and the supply glut by offsetting the increase in US domestic production by exporting less to the US.

For example last June 22, 2012 the US imported 9,118 (million barrels per day) for that week ending period, and the US has imported up to 11,153 (million barrels per day) for a July period as recently as 2010.

The other question is what does Nigeria do with all their extra sweet crude oil right now? This much wanted oil has to hit the market at some point given some degree of reduced market price. Nigeria badly needs the revenues so they cannot just keep this oil in the ground.

Lack of Huge Product Builds

The other interesting oddity about the drawdown is overall finished product supplies didn’t have huge builds the last two weeks. For example last week distillates had a 3 million build, and gasoline had a 2.6 million drawdown. The prior week both products had moderate drawdowns. The conventional wisdom is of refiners ramping up production, therefore drawing down from crude oil inventories and building up finished product inventories.

A 92% refinery utilization rate is normal for this time of year, but it is apparent given the numbers not all of this oil went towards refining products. So where did it go? Ergo the big question!

The Math Just Doesn’t Add Up!

Because if you add up the numbers it doesn’t equate: Take domestic production for two weeks, add the import numbers for two weeks, add the refinery inputs for two weeks, the refinery outputs for two weeks, and the draws in product inventories for two weeks, there is no way to account for this record breaking two week draw in oil supplies.

A lot of this oil isn`t being captured in the refining supply chain statistics, so the oil went out of storage, the official storage numbers went down, but it wasn`t all processed into products, so where is it being stored?

It is obvious that something is amiss in the data as the US didn`t suddenly allow for large exporting of oil, not that there would be a market for it anyway under current global conditions! My best guess is that this oil is being moved from the official storage facilities that have reporting responsibilities to other storage facilities of some kind not captured by the EIA reporting requirements.

Purposeful Manipulation or System Reporting Glitch?

Another possible explanation is whether this is for explicit purposes is the manipulation of the inventory numbers to affect price is another question or a system which has flaws in accounting method used for oil being moved from one storage facility type to a different kind of storage facility.

Oil Market is Being Well Supplied

But the main takeaway is that the recent drawdowns doesn’t reflect any change in supply and demand fundamentals in the market. This is an accounting anomaly whether for purposeful manipulation or system failure of the data.

There Are Two Sides to Every Transaction: Excepting Fake “Accounting Trades”

Some analysts have been talking about another big drawdown for this week because the market is in backwardation. The rationale is that why would you hold onto oil if you are going to get a lower price next month, so sell all you can now!

Well, what about buyers? Every transaction has two sides: Why would a buyer acquire oil this month when it can be acquired next month at a cheaper price, and in two months it is even cheaper? It is not like there is any shortage of oil right now!

System Constraints on Volumes

If we experience another large draw something funny and potentially fraudulent is going on in the oil industry because there is no way this oil is being refined into petroleum products. The system just cannot handle these types of volumes in three weeks without domestic production or oil imports dropping off a cliff, which they haven’t!

History of Oil Market Shenanigans

Oil is either being taken out of storage and stored on tankers to artificially have the appearance of tighter supply markets, and thus influence price, and will be dumped back on the market at a later date; or some other market shenanigans are taking place where this crude oil isn’t making its way into the refining supply chain at all.

It wouldn’t be the first time traders found a way to game the system in the energy markets. There is a long and storied history of just such behavior from Enron to J.P. Morgan. But something’s fishy and just doesn’t add up right now in the oil market!

North Dakota Director’s Cut Newsletter –Bakken Oil Business Journal Report

Photo by Rio Good

North Dakota’s total crude production in May rose to 810,129 barrels per day (bp/d), surpassing the 800,000-bp/d mark for the first time, according to the North Dakota Industrial Commission Lynn Helms’ Director’s Cut Newsletter of July 15, 2013.

May crude output was 2% higher than April 2013 and 26.7% above the corresponding month in 2012. The Bakken crude output makes up more than 90% of North Dakota’s total oil production.

The higher May output was boosted by a higher number of oil wells in production with the number of producing wells in May rising to 1,333 from 1,309.  North Dakota is the second largest oil producing state in the US with Texas at #1 and Alaska in third place..

Following is the complete North Dakota NDIC Director’s Cut Newsletter:

North Dakota’s total crude production in May rose to 810,129 barrels per day (bp/d), surpassing the 800,000 bp/d mark for the first time, according to the North Dakota Industrial Commission Lynn Helms’ Director’s Cut Newsletter of July 15, 2013.

May crude output was 2% higher than April 2013 and 26.7% above the corresponding month in 2012. The Bakken crude output makes up more than 90% of North Dakota’s total oil production.

The higher May output was boosted by a higher number of oil wells in production with the number of producing wells in May rising to 1,333 from 1,309.

7/15/2013 North Dakota Director’s Cut – by Lynn Helms, NDIC Department of Mineral Resources

Apr Oil 23,815,546 barrels = 793,852 barrels/day

May Oil 25,114,011 barrels = 810,129 barrels/day (preliminary)(NEW all-time high)

Apr Gas 25,835,802 MCF = 861,193 MCF/day

May Gas 27,899,280 MCF = 899,977 MCF/day (preliminary)(NEW all-time high)

Apr Producing Wells = 8,772

May Producing Wells = 8,915 (preliminary)(NEW all-time high

Apr Permitting: 202 drilling and 0 seismic

May Permitting: 211 drilling and 0 seismic

Jun Permitting: 165 drilling and 0 seismic (all time high was 370 in Oct 2012)

Apr Sweet Crude Price = $87.85/barrel

May Sweet Crude Price = $87.94/barrel

Jun Sweet Crude Price = $85.79/barrel

Today Sweet Crude Price = $97.00/barrel (all-time high was $136.29 July 3, 2008

Apr rig count 186

May rig count 187

Jun rig count 187

Today’s rig count is 186 (all-time high was 218 on May 29, 2012)


The drilling rig count rose by only one from April to May, but the number of well completions rose by 10 to 143. That number of completions is above the threshold needed to maintain production so oil production rate rose, up 2.1% from April. However, the drilling rigs continue to outpace completion crews. The average number of days to drill a well from spud to total depth is at just under 22, but the average number of days from total depth to initial production has increased to 92. Load restrictions have remained in place longer than ever before because May 2013 was the wettest on record. Uncertainty surrounding federal policies on taxation and hydraulic fracturing regulation continue to make investors nervous. Pressure on the federal budget has led to a budget proposal that eliminates deductions for intangible drilling costs and the depletion allowance.

More than 95% of drilling still targets the Bakken and Three Forks formations.

We estimate that at the end of May there were about 500 wells waiting on completion services, an increase of 10.

Crude oil take away capacity continues to be adequate as long as rail deliveries to the coasts keep growing.

Rig count in the Williston basin is stable. Utilization rate for rigs capable of +20,000 feet is about 90%, and for shallow well rigs (drill to 7,000 feet or less) utilization remains about 60%.

Drilling permit activity was down sharply in May. There is a sufficient permit inventory to accommodate multi-well pads, the inability to construct locations during load restrictions, and the time required to deal with federal hydraulic fracturing rules if required.

The number of rigs actively drilling on federal surface in the Dakota Prairie Grasslands is down one to 2.

The number of rigs drilling on the Fort Berthold Reservation is down 4 to 21 with 6 on fee lands and 15 on trust lands.

There are now 935 active wells (96 on trust lands & 839 on fee lands)

Producing 155,332 barrels of oil per day (5,387 from trust lands & 148,594 from fee lands)

177 wells are waiting on completion

272 approved drilling permits (252 on trust lands & 20 on fee lands)

2,434 additional potential future wells (2,182 on trust lands & 252 on fee lands)

Seismic activity is steady with 4 surveys active/recording, 1 remediating, 1 suspended, and 6 permitted. There are now 4 buried arrays in North Dakota for monitoring and optimizing hydraulic fracturing.

North Dakota leasing activity is very slow, consisting mostly of renewals and top leases in the Bakken – Three Forks area.

US natural gas storage is now 0.8% below the five-year average indicating the price has bottomed, but low prices are still expected for the foreseeable future. Natural gas production increased 4.5% versus the 2.1% increase in oil production. This is consistent with the Bentek study that shows gas oil ratios increasing as wells age. North Dakota shallow gas exploration is not economic at near term gas prices.

Natural gas delivered to Northern Border at Watford City is down $0.31 to $3.20/MCF. This results in a current oil to gas price ratio of 30 to 1, but the high liquids content makes gathering and processing of Bakken gas economic. Additions to gathering and processing capacity are catching up, but the percentage of gas flared remained at 29%. The historical high was 36% in September 2011.

By:  Bob van der Valk

Traffic on the interstate highways and rails has become part of the way modern way of life.  Rail tanker car traffic hauling crude oil increased in multiples over the last five years and will continue to do so every year until more infrastructure is build to handle all of this new found oil.   Additional crude oil production in the Williston basin, within the Bakken Shale Formation is going at full speed on our way toward make our country energy secure.

The US and Canada rail systems are currently being over utilized with the lack of infrastructure reaching the point of having major accidents.  The one in Lac-Mégantic near Quebec on Saturday, July 6th killed up to 53 people along with destroying most the small village.  Railroad tracks laid over 100 years ago are still being used today but with higher and heavier traffic than for which they were originally designed.

The 70 thousand barrels of Bakken sweet light crude oil was being shipped via rail from Trenton, North Dakota to Saint John, New Brunswick with eventual delivery destination of the Irving Oil refinery.  World Fuel Services had title to the crude oil and 50 thousand barrels were lost in the derailment caused by human error.   The MM&A engineer had stopped the 102 chain of rail cars without setting the brake.  While he walked to town to get some rest the train rolled backwards eventually derailing and exploding into a fireball killing people and destroying most of the town.

You may not like pipelines or fossil fuels but the most efficient and safest way to move the highly volatile sweet Bakken Oil crude oil is by pipeline. Increased hauling of crude oil with our overused and in some cases antiquated rail system may well turn out to be “Hell on Wheels”.

The town of Lac-Mégantic near Quebec Canada was named for the lake near which it is located and was named by the Amerindian Abernaki tribe.  It means “Place Where the Fish Are Held” and Lac is the French word for Lake. The small village is about 20 miles north of the Maine border
As environmental disasters go, the explosion Saturday, July 6, 2013 of a runaway crude oil tanker train is a major catastrophe. One thousand people were forced to evacuate the immediate area. Quebec’s environment minister reported 26,000 gallons of crude oil spilled into the Chaudière River and could possibly reach Quebec and the St. Lawrence River before too long.

The derailed 72-car train belonged to MM &A, which is a subsidiary of Illinois-based multinational Rail World, and was carrying North Dakota shale oil extracted by hydraulic fracturing to the massive Irving Oil refinery in the port city of Saint John in New Brunswick, Canada.   They refine the crude oil into gasoline and diesel.  Irving then uses pipelines to ship their finished products to the Northeast US as well as supply Canadian petroleum distributors.

The Wall Street Journal reported in their March 2013 article,  the US rail system moved 9,500 carloads of crude oil in 2008 and surged to 233,811 carloads in 2012. During the same period, the total number of spills and accident increased exponentially. A derailed train accident spilled 714 barrels of crude oil in western Minnesota in March 2013 on frozen land.  But, this accident resulted in a quick and efficient clean up with the railroad skating by without doing much damage to the environment.

Application for the Keystone XL pipeline permit was first filed with the US State Department in late 2008. Since then, the amount of oil being shipped on rails has risen 24-fold mostly shipped mostly on the Burlington, Northern, and Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad owned by Berkshire Hathaway.  Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha and main stockholder of Berkshire Hathaway, has been am ardent supporter of BOLD Nebraska, which is blocking the Keystone XL from being recommended through Nebraska.  The second application is waiting for recommendation by the US State Department for an eventual final up or down decision from President Obama.

Earlier this year Jane Kleeb, the Director of Bold Nebraska, stated the Keystone XL pipeline would be build over her “dead body”.  The problem there is a possibility resulting in more dead bodies, hopefully not hers, if the Keystone XL pipeline does not receive its approval to build the necessary northern leg from Alberta, Canada to Steele, Nebraska.


Baker, Montana will be the location for an on-ramp into the Keystone XL pipeline to be utilized to ship a minimum of 100 thousand barrels per day of Bakken crude oil to the Gulf Coast of the US.  The total capacity of the pipeline is 830 thousand barrels with most of the oil in the pipeline coming from Alberta, Canada in the form of oil sands crude oil also called bitumen.  It is heavier than light sweet crude oil and is the type of heavy sour crude oil used in most US oil refineries to crack into gasoline and diesel fuel as well as other products.

The southern leg has already started construction from Steele, Nebraska to Cushing, Oklahoma with President Obama taking credit for accelerating the approval process for this section.   It was a great photo opportunity for President Obama during the last Presidential election.  Only one problem the southern leg did not need his approval.  Only pipelines between countries have to go through the process of being reviewed and recommended for approval to the President.

The disaster at Lac-Mégantic should be a wake up call for this Administration to do the right thing and approve the permit for construction and operation for the full length of the Keystone XL pipeline to be approved without delay.

Video by Lac-Mégantic resident Adrien Aubert, who filmed the blast on July 6, 2013.

Opinion Article

“Phelim We Hardly Knew Ye”

By: Bob van der Valk
Dateline: Terry, Montana
June 27, 2013

This opinion article deals with FrackNation as a pro-hydraulic fracturing for oil & gas documentary. Comments, other than my own, were made by individual landowners in the Pennsylvania area where the controversy about hydraulic fracturing had its inception.

Bob van der Valk

FrackNation’s Phelim McAleer has been able to hit Josh Fox’s Gasland and Gasland Part II movies with his best shot making his points about hydraulic fracturing not being the cause for underground water contamination.   Neither is the methane produced by the drilling process resulted in any of the health problems purportedly suffered by land owners where the drilling has been done.

For the last two years Phelim McAleer has made it his life’s calling chasing Josh Fox around the country peppering him with embarrassing questions about ridiculous charges being made in the original Gasland movie.  Gasland was nominated for an Oscar as the Best Documentary of 2010.  Most, if not all, of the charges made by emotionally and financially driven opponents to hydraulic fracturing drilling for natural gas have been debunked by Federal and State agencies, which became involved by reacting to the public attention Gasland initially received.

Recently Phelim McAleer has been showing his FrackNation up against Gasland Part II.  This is leading up to the HBO-TV premiere of Gasland Part II on July 9, 2013. FrackNation will be shown again on AXS-TV July 10, 2013 both of them will get high viewer ship for both cable channels.

What has been lost in this conversation about hydraulic fracturing is the US becoming energy secure once again of having to import crude oil from countries with governments hostile to our way of life. Neither Josh Fox nor Phelim McAleer one have oil industry experience and are continuing this unnecessary raucous to promote themselves.

Sherry Hart

After the Binghamton, New York, February 10, 2013 showing of FrackNation a question was asked by Craig Stephens addressing Phelim McAleer, the producer of FrackNation, about the December 15, 2010 “Dimock Consent Order and Settlement Agreement” (COSA):

Similar to what has happened since the beginning of the Dimock saga, the actual contents and findings of the COSA frequently get overlooked while pro-drillers and drilling opponents continue to banter with each other about the water being poisoned, no it wasn’t, etc.   Phelim’s brief answer to Cabot’s move to settle was that it was a case of corporate business as usual and happens all the time.  Partly true, but anyone who has been following the Carter Road allegations and its resulting mounds of paperwork and legal filings for the last couple of years are familiar with a few things above and beyond his answer:

The PA DEP claimed identification of the migrating gas as being from Cabot’s wells primarily using “presumptive guilt”, based only on proximity to the well, and explains their findings in a the original COSA dated November 4,2009 ( which states starting in January 2009 PA DEP collected samples from water wells providing water to 13 homes which showed elevated levels of dissolved methane as well as identified combustible gas in the headspaces of seven of those water wells.

After the COSA was established, Cabot hired an independent consultant to perform a separate investigation.  According to a review of data on the same exact wells determined to be problematic by PA DEP, Robert W. Watson, Ph.D./P.E. and Associate Professor Emeritus of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering and Environmental Systems Engineering, etc. concluded that Cabot was using procedures for drilling, casing and cementing wells even at that time which met or exceeded the requirements of the Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Act, were adequate to protect the drinking water, and which did not cause or allow methane migration into the drinking water. ( – page 2 and again in the Conclusion on page.

Based upon those findings, and mostly those findings alone, because all of the water supplies were within 1,300 or less feet of a Cabot well and because those wells were drilled within the preceding six months, PA regulations deem a determination of guilt can be made.  (page 3-4, articles J-K): The Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Act: A Summary of Statutory Provisions dated March 2009, Section 208: Protection of Water Supplies (58 P.S. § 601.208) (page 4) states, in part, “There is a refutable presumption that a polluted water supply located within 1,000 feet of a well is caused by the well.”  This Summary was written prior to pre-drill tests becoming mandatory, which if anything could well be the most important lesson learned in Dimock.

Other information that could be pertinent is in the legal filings of the lawsuit itself:

1) The Dimock litigants fired their original lawyer when another better known litigation firm offered to take them on as clients.  They walked out leaving $650,294.18 in legal fees unpaid. 2) When the revised COSA was finalized, settlement amounts of the plaintiffs totaled $2,234,160. (2011-11-30 2010 COSA Settlement amounts.jpg).  Amounts of the settlement varied depending on individual property appraisals.  These funds were put into an escrow account to be claimed by December of last year.  There were no restrictions put on this money; it was free for them to collect and they could still continue with their lawsuit and water deliveries would continue.  (2011-12-16 DEP and Cabot Rev Consent Order and Settlement Agreement.PDF)
3) Their original lawyer caught wind of this settlement and put a lien on the escrow account for the outstanding fees the litigants had not paid. (2011-01-12 Motion to demand fired attorneys fee.pdf)
4)  All those persons within the determined effected area and not involved in the lawsuit, claimed their money.  None of the litigants did because doing so would mean paying their first lawyer.  This got muddled in their lies of how Cabot was forcing them to sign non-disclosure agreements and quit the lawsuit… all of which is written into the contract that the money is theirs – no restrictions on it.
5) In August, most of the litigants settled, but do have to abide by a gag order regarding the settlement amounts or findings.  Also, the money contained in the escrow account set up per the COSA goes back to Cabot.  Thus Dan Dinges statement, “The aggregate value of the settlements are not a material item with respect to Cabot’s financial statements,” (statement found in the article referenced below.)   I believe there is currently only one remaining holdout, Ray Kemble, who spoke to the Philadelphia Inquirer soon after the settlement offers were made and accepted by the majority of the litigants.  He mentions what his settlement offer was and it appears it was pretty close to the same amount originally offered him in the COSA. (Per “Kemble is angry at just about everybody – Cabot, regulators, his own lawyers, and his ex-wife, who accepted the settlement, thereby reducing the amount offered to him. He said he would only see $79,000 from the deal, after legal fees.”  His ex-wife was entitled to half the amount offered, thus twice the amount Kemble states he was offered is $158,000.  Originally the COSA provided for a settlement offer of $185,712.00.
6) Thus, it appears the litigants were offered just slightly less the amount originally offered without having to access the funds that had liens on them, probably due to lawyer’s cuts, etc.  Settlement discussions began soon after the third set of water test results were released showing, once again, the water tested within acceptable drinking water standards.

This is why Phelim’s response fell far short and was merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Robin Fehrenbach Scala 

Are you hearing that Phelim is actually on the other side?  Or is it a setup so both can profit from the argument and their respective films?  Having met and argued with Josh Fox even before his film came out, I know he is a liar and expect no truth to ever come from his mouth.

It was later that I was contacted by Magdalena Segieda, who is the Director and Producer of FrackNation, in an effort to find people in my area who were drilled and would talk on camera for the film. I met her first and we made some initial contacts, then Phelim and the film crew came out and spent a whole day in my house getting possible scenes with me and Sherry Hart talking about our issues and showing us working the boards and contacting landowners and politicians. (Of all those hours we appear for exactly 2 seconds maybe, which we were happy about).

HBO is trying to justify their financial backing of Gasland and Part II (and Fox in general) so it seems like a good time to spread information, which could be used against Phelim or make him seem like he is just as bad as Fox.

 I also provided money to be executive producer and was involved from before the film was a film. There IS one way to prove who is right, and that is to follow the money. If HBO is really paying for ANYTHING they could prove it. But they won’t.  I trust HBO less than a guy sitting on a street corner with a hat waiting for spare change. Ask them to prove it. They can’t.

By the way, HBO DOES NOT put up those posters.  Phelim does and has since the beginning. It started from his first argument with Josh, where he asked if Josh knew about methane being in the water since the dawn of time, and Josh said, “It is not relevant”

Game On!

Now Phelim makes sure that if Gasland Part II is being shown, FrackNation is also being shown in the same town, biting at the bit for the debate with Josh, but there’s no point holding his breath!

At least HBO did not pay for FrackNation or any part of it or any advertising for it. They DID pay for Gasland and Part II and are now sucking eggs over it.

I never read the account about the arrest of the Julia Mineeva, the former Russian TV anchor, at the premiere of Gasland Part II or if her arrest for trespassing was a set up.  I do know that Josh Fox set up his own arrest (complete with his cameras rolling) at a committee hearing in the House of Representatives so he could use it in Gasland Part II.

The only reason I feel I can stand up for Phelim (though I could be wrong…it is always possible to be wrong) is due to his behavior on all other occasions where I have been with him or them, watching how they react.

See, I am the type who would make the movie and then go broke because I did not attempt to make money for travel and distribution. The movie would then be a waste of time and investor money.

I would hope that Phelim is making SOME kind of money so he does not go broke (as I would, which is stupid) trying to get the word out.

If anyone is being a money hog and pretending to actually care, it is Josh Fox, who will admit it to anyone everywhere except when asked during a screening.

Being a landowner in PA and NY, I felt like I hit the lottery when Phelim and company contacted me to help make the movie. I had no way to educate the public on my own and attempts to find a spokesperson died after speaking to an agent for an hour while finding out what it would cost to get the person I wanted.

Bob van der Valk

FrackNation exposed Josh Fox for the publicity seeker he is. The oil industry needs to have a serious discussion about the urban lies being spread by the likes of Josh Fox. Phelim did a good job on FrackNation and accomplished just that. He is a journalist and should have stuck to bringing out the true facts about hydraulic fracturing.  But we need an independent journalist to tell the true story on how to go about making the US energy secure. The next frontier will be in California with the Monterey Shale Formation coming into play. Their potential reserves of oil & gas is 3 times bigger than Marcellus, Eagle Ford & the Bakken combined.

Robin Fehrenbach Scala

You just explained your position so it makes total sense to me. Phelim has become the story.

Thanks for continuing our conversation until I could “get it”.

Bob van der Valk

God bless the USA!

This editorial was written with the assistance and input of:

  • James Asbury – Mansfield, Pennsylvania
  • Robin Fehrenbach Scala – Factoryville, Pennsylvania
  • Sherry Hart – Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania

Disclosure: Bob van der Valk, Robin Fehrenback Scala and Sherry Hart donated funds to the Kickstarter program and are credited as Executive Producers of FrackNation.

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