Gasland (DVD) Is a Warning We Can’t Ignore
Apparently, there’s a lot of money to be made in killing Americans. Terrorists are rank amateurs at it, hit men and serial killers are mere dabblers. Nope, when it comes to killing Americans and making money doing it, no one succeeds like American big business. Big business takes the “glass is half empty” attitude when measuring their profits against human costs: “less than one-half of one percent is affected…,” “…only 78 deaths resulted from…” Meanwhile, the “glass half full” camp is looking at the same numbers and interpreting them as “1.5 million people…” and “holy crap! 78 people died because of that?”
In his 2010 documentary Gasland, Josh Fox looks at “fracking,” the method of mining natural gas by hydraulic fracturing. Halliburton developed the technology, so let the alarms start sounding. While we thought our water supply was protected by the Clean Water Act, that relic of the seventies suffered a major blow when Dick Cheney helped all his pals by getting an exclusion passed for hydraulic fracturing. Generally we think of “helping” as doing something that will benefit; Mr. Cheney did something that would immensely benefit his crowd, while endangering the health and lives of a much more substantial group.
Fox became interested in the subject when a gas company offered him nearly $100,000 for leases on his Pennsylvania property (located in the Delaware River Basin)—a home rich in woodlands, streams, and wildlife. He wanted to investigate what fracking is and what impact it would have on the environment. He started by visiting Dimock, Pennsylvania, a town suffering the effects of such mining.
What would happen if you held a flame (match, cigarette lighter) to the water coming out of your tap? Would the flame be extinguished? In Dimock, and numerous other places across the United States where fields of gas wells densely dot the landscape, if you hold a flame to the tap water, you will set off a small explosion. Why? Because natural gas and chemicals from the process of extracting it have contaminated the wells from which people get their water — water that sustains human life.Continued on the next page