Fire from the faucet

DOCUMENTARY>> NATURAL GAS ÔÇó USA

 
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

imageImages of people setting fire to water from faucets in their homes sets the tone for a new documentary purporting to expose the hazards of onshore natural gas drilling.

Gasland has fuelled the debate over the extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing, which involves blasting millions of litres of water, sand and diluted chemicals into shale rock, breaking it apart to free the gas.

Advocates promote shale gas as an abundant and relatively clean source of energy but critics, including Gasland director Josh Fox, assert there are environmental and health risks. Fox, a Pennsylvania playwright, started asking questions about shale gas when his family was offered $100,000 plus royalties to allow hydraulic fracturing. He turned down the offer but many neighbours took the money.

The documentary includes interviews with families who signed leases with the gas industry and now regret it.

The gas industry disputes the film’s findings. “This filmmaker is not an authority on this issue,” said Jim Smith, a spokesperson for the Independent Oil and Gas Association in New York, an industry group.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.