What I Wish I Didn't Know About Fracking

I had originally posted this in much more detail, but somehow the copy was erased or eaten by the internet gods. If I were a conspiracy theorist I might speculate that the word fracking was bringing unwanted attention to the blog. But, I'm not and freedom of speech is my favorite of all the constitutional rights, so now I will enjoy the luxury of that freedom. 

I am big on making lists. I write down everything from the grocery shopping to wedding songs. That list has been in progress for ten years. I make lists for books I want to read and places I want to go. I list sources I want to research and on a basic level things I need to get done. I take great satisfaction in crossing them out one by one. I even have a listography journal from my fellow list-maker in So-Cal, Tara. Best of all, I have a list of movies recommended to me in random order that I will "watch someday when I'm sick in bed." If you read Monday's article you know I was sick in bed for 8 days. So I got to catch up on some cinema courtesy of Netflix. 

Gasland is a title that has been weighing on my mind for some time. It's the story of Josh Fox, a documentarian who receives a letter in the mail asking if he'll lease his land to an energy company in exchange for well sites and drilling called fracking. Josh decides to get in his car with his camera and head west to find out what the cost of that decision will be. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2011, the film focuses on communities in the United States impacted by natural gas drilling and, specifically, a method of horizontal drilling into shale formations known as slickwater fracking. What he finds is nothing short of shocking.

I had heard reports of mid-westerners being able to light their tap water on fire after agreeing to "safe" drilling. I had observed signs in Campbell Hall and Warwick, NY displaying anti-fracking propaganda. But, I didn't really know how it all tied together until I saw Gasland. The good news is that New York state has been unapologetic about disallowing agreements for fracking so far, but 35 of our 50 states have already been subjected to drilling. Gasland covers that and the threat it poses to the environment thoroughly. Most interesting was mention of the public lands enduring fracking under the auspices of the Bureau of Land Management. These lands technically belong to the public, some 280 million acres, or almost 1/8th of all the land in the United States. 

Today New Yorkers are lobbying in Albany ahead of Governor Cuomo's State of the State address at 1:30pm (stream it live) to keep fracking out of New York. The Marcellus Shale, outlined in brown, shows the areas that are being sought out by energy companies for drilling including a piece of Orange County and a large parcel in Sullivan. State officials have said they will not allow fracking in the watershed that supplies drinking water to New York City and Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties downstate.

Via New York Times

So, this is my movie recommendation! Watch Gasland. Informed New Yorkers Unite! 

Then, if you feel so inclined, click these links to join the other voices in New York State who are against fracking.

New Yorkers Against Fracking

Businesses against fracking in New York