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December 10, 2013 > Environmental consequences of fracking

Environmental consequences of fracking

Submitted By Sharat G. Lin

A natural gas boom is taking place in the United States, led by North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Texas, made possible by the commercialization of the new technology of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. It has been touted as a new path to energy self-sufficiency, and could soon make the U.S. and net exporter of natural gas.

But communities near fracking oilfields are finding that their ground water is being contaminated with natural gas and toxic chemicals. Fracking releases more methane into the atmosphere than conventional drilling, and methane is a far worse greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

Fracking is a method of using explosives to fracture shale rock containing natural gas or crude oil, while pumping immense quantities of water, toxic chemicals, and sand into the well to get the natural gas or crude oil to flow out.

The documentary films Gasland and Gasland Part II take an unprecedented close look at the consequences of fracking for local residents, the environment, and democracy.

Following up on his film Gasland, filmmaker Josh Fox uses his trademark dark humor to take a deeper, broader look at the dangers of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the controversial method of extracting natural gas and oil from shale.

Gasland Part II, which premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, shows how the stakes have been raised on all sides in one of the most important environmental issues facing our nation today. The film argues that the gas industryÕs portrayal of natural gas as a clean and safe alternative to oil is a myth and that fracked wells inevitably leak over time, contaminating water and air, hurting families, and endangering the earthÕs climate with the potent greenhouse gas, methane. In addition the film looks at how the powerful oil and gas industries are in Fox's words "contaminating our democracy.Ó

Discussion following the film will be led by Lance Simmens, California State Director of Gasland Grassroots, who is also interviewed in the film. Audience participation is always welcomed. Admission is free, although donations are welcomed.

Screening of The House I Live In is part of the Second Saturday Documentary Series, and is sponsored by Tri-City Perspectives, Niles Discovery Church, the San Jose Peace and Justice Center, and the Sierra Club of South Alameda County.

Gasland Part II
Saturday, Dec. 14
1:30 p.m.
Niles Discovery Church Auditorium
255 H St, Fremont (enter on 3rd Street)
(510) 797-0895

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