Winter 2011 Documentary series
Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 7:00pm
Directed by Josh Fox
Screenplay by Josh Fox
Starring Josh Fox, Dick Cheney, Pete Seeger
Rated PG ·
In May 2008, Josh Fox, writer and director of Gasland, received a letter from a natural gas company offering to lease his family’s land in Milanville, Pennsylvania for $100,000 to drill for gas.
Following the lease offer, he looked for information about natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale under large parts of Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and West Virginia. He visited Dimock, Pennsylvania where natural gas drilling was already taking place. In Dimock, he met families able to light their tap water on fire as well as suffering from numerous health issues and fearing their water wells had been contaminated.
Fox then set out to see how communities are being affected in the west where a natural gas drilling boom has been underway for the last decade. He spent time with citizens in their homes and on their land as they relayed their stories of natural gas drilling in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Texas, among others. He spoke with residents who have experienced a variety of chronic health problems as well as contamination of their air, water wells or surface water. In some instances it is claimed, gas companies are replacing the affected water supplies with potable water or water purification kits.
Throughout the documentary, Fox reached out to scientists, politicians and gas industry executives and ultimately found himself in the halls of Congress as a subcommittee was discussing the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act, “a bill to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to repeal a certain exemption for hydraulic fracturing.” Apparently hydraulic fracturing was exempted from the Safe Drinking Water Act in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
Making appearances in the film are, among others: Dr. Theo Colborn, founder of the Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX); John Hanger, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP); Dr. Al Armendariz, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator for Region 6; and Wilma Subra, MacArthur Award-winning chemist.
Gasland was conceived of, directed, primarily filmed and narrated by Josh Fox. This is his second documentary. The documentary was made in just about a year and a half. Fox began the project as a one man crew, but was joined by three other cameras at different points. Matt Sanchez is credited with the structure of the film and together with Fox edited roughly 200 hours of footage to about 100 minutes.
Gasland premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah where it won a Special Jury Prize.
Here’s more fracking information from the film’s web site.