Gasland – The Documentary

From the Huffington Post

Josh Fox’s home sits in the woods of Milanville, Pennsylvania, near the rushing waters of the Delaware River. In May 2008, a strange letter appeared in his mailbox. A natural gas company was offering him $100,000 if he granted them permission to drill on his property.

Instead of signing, Fox decided to investigate. Armed with a video camera and a banjo, he set off on a journey up and down the Marcellus Shale, a massive reserve of natural gas that stretches 600 miles from Pennsylvania to Maryland, Virginia and into Tennessee. Known as the “Saudi Arabia of natural gas,” the shale contains billions of dollars in untapped fuel.

Fox wanted to know: What happened to other families who agreed to drilling on their property?

What he found was a heartbreaking collection of severely ill families whose aquifers had become so tainted by the gas, they could literally light their tap water on fire. He edited his footage into a modest documentary, Gasland, which was soon embraced by outraged viewers across the country. It won the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, the Lennon-Ono Peace Prize, and now has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary.

I was reading about the Academy Award nominations when I came across this film. I read up on it. I find it compelling, it’s a moving story about real people who lose the right to have clean water.

James Pilant

3 thoughts on “Gasland – The Documentary

  1. Andrew

    These companies will DEFINITELY take advantage of land owners in a second if they can.

    My paternal ancestors were coal miners from Kentucky. My great grandfather worked for the mining company for a very long time. When he retired, the company gave him a piece of land on one of the mountains (that they thought was worthless, of course) that they owned. That was sort of a tradition back in that time.

    Anyways, about 10 years after he retired, another company comes to him and says that they found more coal on that mountain and that they wanted his permission to mine the coal from under his property. They offered him a fixed amount per month for the rights to mine.

    My great grandfather, being a veteran of the mining industry, knew that the company would mine the coal as quickly as possible without regard to his property, so that they would only have to pay him a few thousand dollars for hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of coal.

    So my great grandfather told them that he would not give them rights to mine unless they paid him a fixed amount per ton of coal that was mined from his property. The company did NOT like those terms and tried everything in the book to get around it, but eventually they caved and accepted his terms. Because the company gave him so much grief about the terms of the mining deal, he also forced them to pay him a fee for every truck that went up and down HIS road to the mountain.

    Its always a good story to tell to people who think that one man cant stand up to a large company.


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