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Monday, June 24, 2013

Lighting our democracy on fire: Gasland2

"Gasland" was about people lighting their water on fire.  "Gasland Part Two" is about the oil and gas industry lighting our democracy on fire.

“This is the only city where I’ll take off my Yankee’s hat,” Josh Fox said as he approached the podium to the cheer of 1,700 people who had come to see the much anticipated follow-up of his 2010 documentary Gasland.  Sporting a Pittsburgh Pirate cap, Josh talked about the main themes in Gasland Part 2.  On this, the final night of his “Grassroots Tour,” Josh congratulated the city for being the first in the world to successfully ban the industrial process of fracking within the city but he said there was still much to be done in the rest of PA.  “PA is evidence to the fact that this industry can’t be regulated…[it] has to be banned throughout the United States and the world and when that happens you’ll know that this started here….” [...]

In his opening remarks and during the film, Josh highlights the political crisis that allows industry to violate the rights of the individuals living in the shalefields.  He explores how politics and policy shifts have a corrosive effect on oversight agencies and decides which and when scientific findings are disclosed to the public.  In the two-hour film, narrator Fox calls this effect “another layer of contamination” caused by drilling: “Not the water, not the air, but our government.” The film follows the stories of regulatory unreliability, either by the U.S. EPA or state agencies. One is the continuing story of Dimock, Pa., where the EPA released a press release stating that the water in Dimock was safe while simultaneously releasing the results of water studies to families that clearly show otherwise.

Gasland Part Two will premiere on HBO on July 8th...check your listings and mark your calendar.

(From Marcellus Outreach Butler.)