Monday, December 20, 2010

Future's watery frackup

Josh Fox's DVD "Gasland" will save our American water, air, and soil from being ruthlessly abused by corporate greed, even here in Hampshire County. It is incredibly inspiring and heart-wrenching. What it portrays is even worse than mountaintop removal.

In 2009, filmaker Josh Fox learned his home in upstate New York in the Delaware River Basin sat atop of the Marcellus Shale, a rock formation containing natural gas that stretches across New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky. He was offered $100,000 to lease his land for a new method of drilling developed by Halliburton, and soon discovered this was only a part of a 34-state drilling campaign, the largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history.

"Gasland" documents (I've watched it) Josh's cross-country odyssey to find out if the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing---or fracking---is actually safe. It gets more devastating every time I watch corporate greed destroy innocent community and family lives. Traveling across 24 states to interview affected families, EPA whistleblowers, congressmen and scientists in vast drilling areas, Josh learns of things gone horribly wrong, from illness to hair loss (even among livestock) to flammable spigot water and creekside flamings. His inquiries lead him ever deeper into a web of secrets, executive lying, conspiracy and contamination---a web that potentially stretches to threaten the New York city watershed.

This past week New York's governor signed a moratorium on fracking in New York state until next July. A few weeks ago the City Council of Pittsburg said no more fracking within city limits.

Do we want our County Commisioners to allow fracking here?

--Bill Arnold

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