This weekend I watch a documentary by Josh Fox entitled Gasland. While the title was amusing to my kids, the content was disturbing and should be of interest to all of us, not just anglers.
The topic of the documentary is hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a method of extracting natural gas from underground. Over the course of the film Josh visits homeowners in Pennsylvania, Colorado and Wyoming, witnessing firsthand the destruction to ground water as a result of fracking, and the denial of the gas exploration companies and local governments that this is even happening.
In some cases families suffered major health problems due to well contamination. In others, pets and livestock lost hair and weight. In some homes you could actually ignite the drinking water and watch it burn. One well actually exploded.
I won’t give the movie away, but here are just a few of the facts revealed in this documentary:
- Ex-vice president Dick Cheney, also ex-CEO of Halliburton, helped pass a 2005 energy bill that exempted oil and gas companies from the Safe Water Drinking Act, Clean Air Act, Superfund legislation and the Clean Water Act, among others
- There are 596 chemicals used in the fluid used for fracking, many linked to cancer or other health problems
- Each new fracking well uses between one and seven million gallons of water, and a well can be fracked up to 18 times
I hope you’ll spend a few minutes watching this documentary and use it as an opportunity to learn more about this dangerous practice and the short and long-term impact it could have on our lives and our health.
To see the movie trailer click here. It is available from Netflixas well.
To find out more about hydraulic fracturing click here.