OVERVIEW: GASLAND is going a long way in spreading public awareness about the risks fracking poses on human and environmental health. The fight against hydraulic fracturing has now moved to Congress, where lobbyists are trying to prevent legislation that would require the chemicals used in the fracking process to once again be subject to the Safe Drinking Water
SYNOPSIS: Is “fracking” safe? 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 risks of agreeing to this deal..
The largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history has swept across the United States. Beneath our continent lies a vast underground ocean of natural gas waiting to be harvested. The Halliburton-developed drilling technology of “fracking” (hydraulic fracturing) – exempt by the Bush-Cheney Energy Policy Act of 2005 from our national Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Air Act – has unlocked a “Saudia Arabia of natural gas” just beneath us. 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 nearby water-supply areas – a crisis looms that could affect
A nearby, recently-drilled Pennsylvania town has reported that its residents are able to light their drinking water on fire. This is just one of the many absurd and astonishing revelations of a new country called GASLAND. Other stops on Fox’s
Dimock, Pennsylvania – the town closest to the New York City watershed, where residents’ farm and domestic animals started losing hair after drilling started, presumably from drinking contaminated water;
Wyoming – where Fox visits ranchers whose water well erupted for three days with a geyser of natural gas;
Tiny Dish, Texas – where emissions from natural gas wells and pipelines measure 55-times the acceptable public health level for cancer-causing benzene and 107-times the health standard for carbon disulfide, a neurotoxin;
Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas – where approximately 10,000 gas wells produce air emissions from gas drilling that are greater than all the air pollution from all cars and trucks in that metropolitan area, the fourth largest in America.
Gas companies have now turned their attention to the massive Marcellus Shale Field, where Fox’s Pennsylvania home rests. Stretching from the Catskill region of New York State to West Virginia, the area is also home to the country’s largest unfiltered watershed, supplying water to millions of Americans, including the residents of New York City. Thousands of leases have already been purchased by drilling companies, prompting a public