The Truth About GASLAND the Movie
Gasland the Oscar nominated; Sundance Film Festival Winner is under attack.
Gasland a film by Josh Fox is about the process of natural gas extraction, specifically about the process known as Hydraulic Fracturing, Fracking. Fox’s film takes the position that the process of well Fracking is environmentally unsafe. The Natural Gas Industry Disagrees. Accusations that filmmaker Josh Fox’s facts have no evidence in science and research are being widely stated and criticism for the films content is questioned.
Questioned by who? Facts about Natural Gas Drilling Research by Who?
The Natural Gas Industry of Course!
It seems that most scientific research into the effects of Hydraulic Fracturing of Gas wells has been conducted by the Gas Industry or perhaps even worse state regulators that have a clear conflict of interest?
Josh Fox attempts to make a case that big corporations like Halliburton are playing a major role in the control of investigative science related to environmental impacts of Fracking. He goes back to Dick Cheney’s influence in the Bush era energy policy that was passed by Congress. The Legislation clearly prevented the EPA from conducting scientific testing to determine the environmental impact of the Halliburton developed process of Hydraulic Fracturing.
Today as Gasland makes its oscar debut State Legislatures throughout the west are attempting to strip their Departments of Environmental Quality, DEQ, of their authority to investigate and enforce environmental law. In Montana where I live our legislature is going beyond our state DEQ to void Federal EPA regulations that pertain to the extraction of Minerals and Natural Resources. Specifically Natural Gas, Oil and Coal extraction. Wyoming is also working on this type of legislation as are the Dakotas, Idaho, Utah and a plethora of other States? What’s your States legislature doing?
If I were to embrace a Corporate Conspiracy theory I would surmise that the Corporate Energy Sector is conspiring to deregulate their industry. I would also have to embrace the assumption the Elected Legislators are working on behalf of their corporate sponsors and perhaps have a serious conflict of interest when it comes to this industry. I would further have to point to the fact that many of these Legislators come from areas with small populations in the big western states and that they have been strategically positioned to represent the interests of the Energy Industry. Because these elected politicians have a big voice, a majority in Western State Legislatures Today? Of course all of this legislation is veiled under the mask of Job Creation in these high unemployment rural communities. The belief that it is not the availability of natural resources but restrictive regulation is hampering job creation is a fundamental theme here in Montana.
It is true we have abundant natural resources, Natural Gas, Oil and Coal in our State. However the trade off of safe environmental regulation is not a trade off I would advocate for, nor will many Montanan’s
You see we have a long history of deregulated mineral and resource extraction on our state. Today we have several of the largest superfund sites in the world in our state as a result. We also have entire communities that are suffering and dying from the long term environmental consequences of the unregulated behavior of Big Corporate Mining.
One such town is Libby Montana where the entire population has been exposed to Asbestos and are dying of Asbestos related illnesses at alarming rates. The results of unregulated environmental laws and bought off elected officials cannot be illustrated more effectively than the case of Libby Montana. In this small town thousands are sick and have died or are dying. The big question is will the children born; after the actual mining of Asbestos was stopped; also become ill. Evidence suggests they will. Of course this evidence is based on science that the EPA has generated.
I would urge you to watch Josh Fox’s film Gasland and make up your own mind. Even if you find fault in his films story line you will surely come away with many questions. Important questions that must be answered by neutral and objective scientific research. No one can argue that America needs to find a way forward in energy self-sufficiency but at what cost?
I can say that rolling back the clock ten years from now will be too late!