Sunday, January 3, 2010

Gasland...the Movie!

I recently learned that our collective story is about to hit the Big Screen.  As in Sundance Film Festival.  Filmmaker Josh Fox calls our area home and when he heard about the drilling coming to town, he decided to put his skills to work.  The result is a documentary--featuring footage and interviews from Dimock, PA and other communities in 24 states--and detailing the largest natural gas drilling operation in our nation's history.  The film is scheduled to appear at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival later this month.

Find out more by checking out the film's official website.  Below is a can find more trailers at his site, Water Under Attack.


Please note that I have *not* seen the film but am anxious to do so!

Why ask why?

In a recent edition of the Wellsboro Gazette, there appeared a letter to the editor which gave me pause.  John Kesich of Millerton wrote of a recent presentation he attended given by Scott Blauvelt of East Resources.  During the presentation, Mr. Kesich asked questions many of us are no doubt thinking, but for whatever reason have kept to ourselves.  Some don't like public speaking; some fear asking a 'dumb' question (note: there are no dumb questions); perhaps some don't want to hear the answers.  Many of us no doubt think there's not much we can do when faced with big corporations who can throw money at an issue and make it go away.  Some of my own family and friends fall into this category.  So why should we bother worrying about or questioning the inevitable?  It's all a done deal....right?  Wrong.

Mr. Kesich asked his questions and not to my surprise, the responses left much to be desired.  But the point is that he asked.  When the drilling began just across the border in New York, one person dared to ask questions.  That person made it a little easier for the next concerned citizens to come forward.  There's now an incredibly active group of concerned residents asking a whole lot of questions; their group goes by the name of Shaleshock.  (Their website is a treasure trove of information; if you haven't seen it yet, check it out.  You can also find them on Facebook under the great name of No Fracking Way!).

And guess what?  Things are changing.  There are no done deals.  Chesapeake Energy, the only leaseholder in that region and one of the largest natural gas producers in the entire country, has said it will not drill there now because of the huge amount of opposition they have received.  (You can read all about it here.)  It started when one concerned citizen dared to ask questions. 

So thank you Mr. Kesich--and to all of the others out there like him (I know you're out there).  While the answers you received were less than satisfactory, one hopes it won't be the last time these companies and their representatives hear them.  As Albert Einstein famously said, "the important thing is not to stop questioning."  Please keep voicing your opinion as loudly as you can--at meetings, in the newspapers, and in letters to our legislators.  If enough people speak up, they won't be able to ignore us.  

Thanks for letting me wax a bit philosophical on this first post of the new year.  Over and out-