Gasland, Fracking and You

I'm preparing a series of stories that will assemble loosely under the topic of 'regulation'. More precisely, it's related to the 'mis-regulation' that informed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and which carved out protection for 'fracking'.   Remember that Dick Cheney's Task Force secretly collected the industry wishlists to guide his National Energy Policy, in 2001, which guided the legislative formation of EPAct 2005..

And it exempted (wikipedia) hydraulic fracturing from the safeguards of the Safe Drinking Water Act.  Recently, the reality of what the industry channeled into EPAct 2005 is hitting home in several East Coast states in a big way and has moved state and federal decision-makers to reconsider the state of affairs that is reportedly leaving drinking water unpalatable even to the point of inflammability.  Other reports tell of property owners and residents left with expensive equipment replacement or purchasing water from retail sources to substitute for that supplied by contaminated domestic infrastructures or wells. member, TXSharon, has been one of the more important instructors to my understanding of the fracking story along the way as she has been documenting the industrial impact of hydraulic fracturing for gas production in the great State of Texas. 

As you leaf through some of those blogs,, I think you'll even recognize footage that has made its way into the current documentary, "Gasland," by Josh Fox that is watchable in its full-length at the source I've linked here.  

Propublica 's ongoing investigation is a good resource for detailed information and happens to be where I learned of the neat new mapping tool, FracTracker


For now, this is a worthwhile interview discussing the film from PBS.

Watch the full episode. See more NOW on PBS.

Fox made the film as part of his own process of deciding whether he wanted to trade the hundred thousand dollar check from the drilling company for a potential threat posed by up to nearly 600 different chemicals that are used in high pressure fracturing of the Marcellus Shale formations that trap burnable carbon as the natural gas, methane.  We're talking about incredibly valuable quantities that Fox calls the 'Saudi Arabia of natural gas' reserves.  The problem is that they  infiltrate such formations and that often impinge upon or comingle with aquifers of fresh water that quench the thirsty needs of millions of people.

New York City's reserves of unfiltered water are among those currently at stake in legislative considerations and Fox's film addresses recent deliberations by Congress and industry lobbyists there.  There is much at stake.

I think BP's disaster in the Gulf is only the most acute 9/11-caliber wake-up call that we pay very careful attention when we allow profit-motivated extractors near enough to poison the water resources of so many people for energy reserves that will supply the same population of hydrocarbon-addicts but that make a much smaller cadre rich in the process. 

Drillers can't take to their graves what they will make in trade, for what may send many others to their own graves, if enough attention is not paid to how it's done.

The film provides a clear message and is well made to do so. It's certainly not undisputed and industry's "Debunking Gasland" makes clear that there is substantial financial firepower that will be brought to bear.  Interestingly enough, the series I'm currently developing may these folks back into my scope fairly soon.  I had a bad browser. day and was unable to make the legislative review I'd hoped to report.

You can still watch the film in the meantime!

Other resources:

Gasland Website -

Gasland FAQ -

Full-length film -

TXSharon's eP blogs -

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