Julie Slavet
Jul 8, 2010

Last night, Ashley and I caught a screening of Gasland, a film that explores natural gas drilling and its effect on water quality, air quality and human and animal health. As we’ve written about before, natural gas drilling is done through a controversial process called hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” — the Gasland website explains fracking here with a cool visual.

The film is thought-provoking and at times, quite disturbing. For example, some people who live near natural gas drilling sites are suddenly able to light their water on fire, straight from the tap. Nearby residents and pets are getting sick,  losing their hair and losing weight. The chemicals used in the fracking process don’t have to be disclosed due to an exemption in the law — and this means that hundreds of unknown (and some well-known and proven unsafe!) chemicals end up in our waterways.

After the screening, filmmaker Josh Fox stayed for a Q-and-A session. In it, he noted that “the culture of convenience is leading us down this path.” It was heartbreaking to hear that we are sacrificing our water quality and air quality in large part to manufacture disposable plastic products.

You can find a screening of Gasland here or catch it on HBO and HBO On Demand. Fox told us there will be a theatrical release in the fall and a big screening in Philadelphia in late September. The DVD will be released in December, but you can watch the trailer here:

The Gasland website includes many ways to take action. The Delaware Valley River Basin Commission will be holding a public meeting regarding the Marcellus Shale next Wednesday, July 14, at 1:00 p.m. at the West Trenton Volunteer Fire Company in West Trenton, NJ. Many citizens will be there to call for a complete moratorium on natural gas drilling in the Delaware River Watershed. For more information, visit Delaware Riverkeeper.

But the movie here: Gasland

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