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Investigative News Team Screening ‘Triple Divide’ Across U.S.

What do fracking and the car of the future have in common?

This summer, communities across the Unites States will have the opportunity to witness investigative documentary Triple Divide about fracking in the Marcellus Shale, a feature debut of journalists Joshua Pribanic and Melissa Troutman of Public Herald.

The team will tour the U.S. in a Tesla Motors Model S, a long-range, all-electric sedan, and test the company’s nationwide Supercharger system where the electric cars can be quickly recharged for free. The directors aim to cross the U.S. using zero gasoline and emitting zero greenhouse gas pollution.

Triple Divide is about how water and energy connect us all,” said Troutman. An investigation of impacts from fracking in Pennsylvania, Triple Divide has been called “a bombshell” and “best documentary on fracking” touring from June thru November thanks to a grant from Investigative News Network and Knight Foundation.

According to Pribanic and Troutman, who also co-founded the investigative news nonprofit Public Herald, Triple Divide reveals how one state’s ‘world-class regulations’ fail to protect people, communities, and the environment.

“The public isn’t seeing the full scale of impacts from fracking either because regulators are mismanaging the data or decisions are made based on politics instead of science,” says Pribanic. “The impacts we encountered in Triple Divide are systemic and growing, but we can learn from these experiences so that the stories of those interviewed are not in vain.”

“Pennsylvania has some of the best environmental laws in the country, but they aren’t being enforced,” says Troutman. “And major problems like the ‘Pressure Bulb’ effect from fracking, which we cover in Triple Divide, aren’t a part of state or federal regulations at all.”

Academy Award-nominated actor Mark Ruffalo co-narrates the documentary and added his voice to the project after seeing the film just weeks before its release. Ruffalo’s nonprofit, Water Defense, also investigates water testing and protection measures, and he is a co-founder of The Solutions Project.

Public Herald founder Melissa Troutman with a Tesla Model S before she embarks on a national tour of her documentary “Triple Divide” on fracking. photo: jbpribanic

Public Herald founder Melissa Troutman with a Tesla Model S before she embarks on a national tour of her documentary “Triple Divide” on fracking. photo: jbpribanic

Public Herald also seeks solutions to increase its sustainability, which is why the team chose Tesla Motors for its transportation. “Imagine crossing the country without using a single drop of gasoline,” said Troutman. “We chose Tesla because we want to test their technology, which is leaps and bounds ahead of other auto makers. We’ll share our reviews online, and those who attend screenings will get to check out the car in person.”

fileroom_beta_2-01@2x“We are thrilled Tesla recently open sourced its technology. It’s a philosophy Public Herald shares,” said Pribanic. With new solution projects like the #fileroom, Public Herald journalists are working with communities on the tour to build a website database of oil and gas files that’s entirely open sourced. “The #fileroom belongs to everyone and creates access to information that greatly benefits and can protect the public.”

Triple Divide National Tour #frackingTriple Divide’s namesake, the triple continental divide in Pennsylvania, is one of four highly unique watersheds in North America. It’s where three major rivers begin and flow to separate ends of the continent, providing drinking water for millions of people and hundreds of communities downstream.

The filmmakers will have screenings in West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Texas, New Mexico, Utah, California, Colorado, Montana, and Michigan with stops in between. For a detailed list of screening times and locations, visit https://tripledividefilm.org/screenings. For video clips see TripleDivideFilm.org. Also follow @PublicHerald and #TripleDivide.

TRAILER, STILLS, AND REVIEWS
Trailer: http://vimeo.com/ondemand/tripledivide/63571188
Reviews: https://tripledividefilm.org/about/reviews/
Photographs and stills from the film: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjE3Tb8F

About the author

Joshua Pribanic is Editor-in-Chief for publicherald.org, an investigative reporter, director, photographer, and permaculturalist. His debut documentary, Triple Divide, investigates how the impacts of fracking are being handled by the state and industry. Influences include Ida Tarbell, Upton Sinclair, and ProPublica's Editor Paul Steiger. Follow on twitter: @jbpribanic

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