When filmmaker Josh Fox got a lucrative offer to release his family land for natural gas drilling, he didn't sign it—instead, he went out to investigate the drilling process, known as hydraulic fracturing, and its effect on the environment. The technique, developed by Halliburton, has opened up new land in 34 U.S. states to drilling. At a time when the U.S. is dependent on foreign countries for most of its energy and the country is in the midst of a recession, the appeal and immediate benefits of the technique are obvious. But on his 24-state journey, Fox discovers that in disparate areas affected by drilling, streams have turned toxic, aquifers are ruined, livestock is dying, residents are ill—and their tap water is flammable.
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For those interested in more reading, there's a short list of pieces on hydraulic fracture already available on ePluribus Media over the fold.