Gasland, What the Frack?!

June 22, 2010

Last night we tuned to HBO’s premier of Gasland, a Sundance Film Festival award-winning documentary by Josh Fox. Within 30 minutes, we got it, got very upset and had to turn off the film. See trailer.

It feels like it’s all too much these days. Corporate disregard for our environment. Governmental oversight regulations. What? Big corporations who do the most polluting can continue to pollute while everyone looks the other way?

This is the last frontier. How can it get worse, folks? Human behavior has to change now so we don’t have to start colonizing other planets in the future. I mean, what animal fouls its own drinking water? We cannot be that stupid. Yet, amazingly, we are.

The underground stores of natural gas in the US are tremendous. Gas companies are tapping this ocean through hundreds of thousands of wells all over the US. from Texas and Colorado to Pennsylvania and New York State. The result of the fracking, or forcing millions of gallons of chemical laden water into cracks to release the gas does just that- it puts toxic chemicals right into our water supply and releases natural gas.

Gasland shows us up close the damage done, the sickness and devastation thousands of families and communities are experiencing across the country.

We cannot even know what the hundreds of chemicals are because companies do not have to report such information. The EPA would normally be the regulator of an issue like this but the gas lobbyists managed to have fracking exempted from the Safe Drinking Water Act.

The most succinct article about the film is in the Huff Post. But there are many people who are speaking out about the results of fracking on their drinking water, including Peter Gorman in The Fort Worth Weekly back in 2008, Jeff Brady for NPR and more. Face it, my driving a fuel efficient car and recycling my cat food cans is such a small piece of a very huge and out-of-control puzzle. Compared with the huge military and corporate reach? I feel like a flea trying to bite a bulldozer.

Rather than leaving us in the lurch, a most useful site is the Gasland site, where you can learn about fracking, and take action.

Environmental groups are lobbying congress. Other ways to support that effort are through EarthworksAction.org, and get educated by reading the OGAP’s (Oil and Gas Accounatibility Project article, and the OGAP’s list of model regulatory and operational practices.

And, if the government isn’t going to regulate, then the states must step up. My next call is to my local congress people. Who are we going to call, T? Ghostbusters?

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