MSC Engages Public With Natural Gas Facts, Counters ‘Promised Land’

Pittsburgh, Pa. – With the movie Promised Land opening in theaters across the nation today, the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) is launching a campaign in Pennsylvania theaters and on social media channels to respond to the work of fiction with real facts and responsible conversation around the issue of natural gas development.

In theaters across the Commonwealth, the MSC is sponsoring 15-second advertisements to run during movie previews, highlighting its Learn About Shale platform ( and asking viewers to submit their own questions about natural gas production and use. The Learn About Shale initiative – launched last fall – serves as the hub of the MSC’s public education campaign and answers real questions from real consumers with facts, independent resources, and trusted third parties.

The MSC also is targeting promoted tweets to add to the online conversation around the fictional film and natural gas development. Here is a document highlighting what media and others sources are saying about the film, and following are highlights of the MSC’s campaign to counter Promised Land’s fiction with the facts.

  • Shale Industry Takes On “Promised Land”: When “Promised Land” was being shot in Apollo last summer, residents gathered to get a glimpse of star and producer Matt Damon, and debate the pros and cons of natural gas development. “Jobs all over the area,” said one resident. “Yeah, it’s a good thing.” … “Certainly, this is another attempt by opponents of responsible natural gas drilling to characterize our industry in a way that the facts don’t bear out,” said Steve Forde, of the Marcellus Coalition. And so, the Marcellus Shale Coalition will run an ad before all showings of “Promised Land” in 75 percent of Pennsylvania’s movie theaters. “We’re taking this as an opportunity to engage and continue this conversation and respond in this conservation with facts,” added Forde. (KDKA-TV, 1/3/13)
  • Drilling For Facts Under The ‘Promised Land’ Fiction: “It’s a complete work of fiction,” says Steve Forde, vice president of policy and communications for the Pittsburgh-based Marcellus Shale Coalition. He says the real truth will come as people watch what his industry does over the long term. “This film may run in theaters for a several weeks — maybe a couple of months, depending on its success at the box office,” he says. “But the work of our industry is going to continue for generations to come.” Forde’s group is appealing to moviegoers in its own way. The coalition is airing advertisements in Pennsylvania theaters asking people to visit an industry website, where natural gas drillers and their allies present their side of the story. (NPR, 1/4/13)
  • Natural Gas Ad Clashes on Screen With Damon’s ‘Promised Land’: Before many Pennsylvania movie-goers settle in for Matt Damon’s film about the fight over natural gas drilling, they will see a message from the energy industry offering “straightforward facts” about hydraulic fracturing. … The on-screen ad being showed in 75 percent of Pennsylvania theaters lasts 16 seconds and refers the audience to the Marcellus Shale Coalition-sponsored website,, for “a community conversation on natural gas.” (Bloomberg News, 1/4/13)
  • Marcellus Shale Industry Strikes Back at ‘Promised Land’: A Pittsburgh-based natural gas agency is striking back against the way its industry is portrayed in the Matt Damon movie “Promised Land.” About 40 movie theaters statewide, including the Cinemark cinemas in Robinson Township, will run ads from the Marcellus Shale Coalition prior to screenings of “Promised Land,” which was filmed in western Pennsylvania. The commercial will also screen at Cinemark in Center Township even though the film is not scheduled to show there. The ads promote the Marcellus Shale Coalition’s website,, where people can submit natural-gas related questions “and get straightforward, fact-based answers.” … “This film is purely a work of fiction and is not reflective of the work our industry undertakes, all done within an aggressive and effective regulatory framework,” said MSC spokesman Steve Forde. “Our focus remains on creating even more American jobs, safely producing our abundant, clean-burning, domestic natural gas resources, revitalizing rural communities and our nation’s manufacturing base, and most importantly, doing it in a way that is safe,” Forde. (Beaver Co. Times, 1/4/13)
  • Locally Made ‘Promised Land’ Eyes Drilling Controversy: The Marcellus Shale Coalition, a local nonprofit coalition, will run ads at selected “Promised Land” showings, says a spokesman. The ads will direct audiences to a web-site called “A lot of folks think they understand the nuclear industry because they‘ve seen ‘The Simpsons,‘ but we don‘t want people to walk away from this fictional film thinking it‘s an accurate depiction of how the natural gas industry conducts its business,” Windle says. (Tribune-Review, 1/3/13)

NOTE: To view the MSC’s in-theater ad on YouTube, click HERE. And please follow us on Twitter (@MarcellusGas) for updates.