Gasland: The largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history has swept across the United States. The Halliburton-developed drilling technology of “fracking” or hydraulic fracturing has unlocked a “Saudia Arabia of natural gas” just beneath us. But is fracking safe? When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination. A recently drilled nearby Pennsylvania town reports that residents are able to light their drinking water on fire. This is just one of the many absurd and astonishing revelations of a new country called Gasland.
Gasland Part II is the provocative follow-up to the filmmaker’s Academy Award nominated documentary feature Gasland. Fox’s newest effort — with his trademark dark humor — shows how the stakes have been raised in one of the most controversial environmental issues facing our nation today. Gasland Part II pierces prevailing myths by arguing how and why fracked wells inevitably leak over time, contaminating water and air, hurting families, and endangering earth’s climate with the powerful greenhouse gas, methane.
The 2010 documentary Gasland and 2013 follow-up Gasland II have significantly raised the profile of issues surrounding fracking across the globe, inspired the creation of hundreds of local anti-fracking groups, rallied celebrity activists, and played a key role in region, state, and country-based moratoria on oil drilling. The films have influenced the writing of the national FRAC Act. Eight members of Congress and many environmental groups have joined a campaign to force the EPA to reopen marquee cases demonstrating that fracking has contaminated groundwater. The production team is in the midst of launching another grassroots tour, “Solutions Grassroots,” designed to encourage adoption of renewable energy solutions by individuals, communities, and commercial settings, and to support related legislation.
This film was a selection for the 2014 Media Impact Festival. Find out more about the film’s funding and impact in its full festival case study.