On March 26th, I went to a showing of Fracknation made available by the Ottawa County Patriots and Americans For Prosperity-MI. They also had John Griffin (American Petroleum Institute) and Brian Keely (Kent County Water Conservation) accessible after the film for Q & A.
For those who have never heard of Fracknation, it was made in response to the movie Gasland. Fracknation creator, Phelim McAleer, felt there was a lot mistruths in Gasland and set out to find the truth about fracking and water contamination.
*Disclaimer: I have never seen Gasland.*
In the beginning of the film, Phelim McAleer showed video of him questioning director of Gasland, Josh Fox, on some of the falsehoods in his film. Phelim put the video on YouTube. YouTube took it down because Fox had it flagged. So Phelim put it on another video site. This too was taken down, but this time it’s because Fox’s lawyers got involved and put a bogus copyright on it. Phelim knew then if he wanted to get the truth out there, he would have to make a documentary film. So he started an online fundraiser. Over 3 thousand people from 26 countries donated money. People wanted this film made.
One of the couples from Dimock, PA featured in Gasland are Greg & Julie Saunter. They were (or maybe still are) part of a huge lawsuit against Cabot Gas. The Saunter’s claim is that due to Cabot’s frack drilling at nearby farms contaminated their water. They have been documented saying that high concentrations of benzene & weapon grade uranium in their water and that it gave their daughter eczema. No lab testing results were ever produced. Their main claim to fame was setting their water on fire due to the methane. If you ask most of the residents in that county, they know about the methane in the well water. Its been there before the fracking started. Mrs. Saunter later in film threaten and called the cops on Mr. McAleer. I found it to be the comedic relief in the film. Watch and you’ll understand.
Shale rock is thousands of feet lower than the water table. The few hundred feet of the gas pipe is the most monitored to make sure it doesn’t disturb the water.
Now some of the things I learned. There is 2-3 years of paperwork which involves land & water studies before you can even get a drilling permit. Frack drilling itself takes 3 days for a well that will last 20-40 years. Water gets tested before and after drilling numerous times to make sure the quality is up to standard.
Some of the farmers in Pennsylvania have been hurt financially by the moratorium that was placed on fracking because of Gasland. The money they get from the land lease helps the farmers pay for equipment, tractor upkeep, and animal feed. Is someone’s personal vendetta that causes mass hysteria worth hurting families’ heritage? When farms fall, they get replaced by housing developments. This does harm to the environment.
During the Q&A, I learned that one of the reasons that some people have with fracking is what happens with the water. Chemicals are added to water to help break up the shale rock. Because of the cost of purification is so high, most companies put the water in a deep injection well, never to return the water cycle. Each fracking well takes about 5.8 gallons of water to drill. That amount of water would also irrigate 10 acres of corn for one year, returning it to the water cycle. I have also learned that Halliburton invented a food grade fracking solution so the water could be returned to the cycle.
I also learned about how geothermal causes hundreds of thousands more earthquakes than fracking does. (cite Ernest Majer, PhD – Berkley) How much rare earth is used for solar panels. That you would have to build 100 square miles of wind farms to supply the need. That bans have consequences & cheap energy equals longer lives.
There is always more to the story. I suggest watching both films, well, at least watch Fracknation. I have no problem telling you, I’m a little bias.