Sunday, September 2, 2012

What the Frack ?

When filmmaker Josh Fox received an unexpected offer of $100,000 for the natural gas drilling rights to his property in the Delaware River Basin, on the border of New York and Pennsylvania, he resisted the urge to accept. Instead, he set off on a cross-country journey to investigate the environmental risks of agreeing to the deal.

Gasland is Fox's urgent, cautionary and sometimes darkly comic look at the largest domestic natural gas drilling campaign in history, which is currently sweeping the country and promising landowners a quick payoff. However, as Fox discovers, the drilling process, called hydraulic fracturing or fracking, was exempted by the Bush-Cheney Energy Policy Act of 2005 from the United States' most basic environmental regulations, including the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Air Act. Across the country, in major cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Dallas-Ft. Worth, where drilling is slated to take place or is already occurring directly in water-supplying areas nearby, a crisis looms that could affect millions.

Part verité road trip, part exposé, part mystery and part showdown, Gasland follows director Fox on a 24-state investigation of the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing. What he uncovers is mind-boggling: tap water so contaminated it can be set on fire right out of the tap; chronically ill residents with similar symptoms in drilling areas across the country; and huge pools of toxic waste that kill livestock and vegetation.


See also HERE & HERE & HERE