There’s no other word for how I’m feeling…

March 13, 2011

…except frustrated.

In less than 24 hours I’ll be in sunny, warm Arizona and the only thing I can think about right now is how incredibly frustrated I am. My friend and I just finished watching the documentary Gasland and we both have this sense of helpless frustration at the information we just absorbed.

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For those of you unfamiliar with it, Gasland is about hydraulic fracturing – the drilling technique used to extract natural gas from underground – also known as ‘frac’ing’. Frac’ing is done by drilling into the ground and pumping a mixture of fracture fluid (water and a LOT of chemicals I won’t pretend to know how to spell/pronounce) and sand into the fissure, thus forcing the gas or oil to come back out along with the waste water (called “produced water” in the industry, and full of chemicals and toxins).

Gasland chronicles the journey of Josh Fox, a Pennsylvania native, who goes on the search for what frac’ing really does to the environment after learning a company might start drilling near his home. Fox travels the nation to talk to families and communities who have been impacted by frac’ing, as well as industry professionals. Throughout the documentary viewers see his struggles to get answers from companies and the government about why frac’ing is being allowed to take place when there are such horrific consequences.

As a native of the Delaware Valley – one of the largest unfiltered water sources in the world – it’s scary to think that these companies could be dumping their chemicals into my water system. With any documentary you have to be aware there is an angle, but in doing research none of the outcomes seem good. I will certainly be keeping an eye on the goings-on in the tri-state area and hope the New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania governments do not turn a blind eye to big business.


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