Or was it?
Josh Decided to look into the natural gas drilling business and discovered that the process of hydraulic fracturing was already in use across many states in the USA. He also discovered that hydraulic fracturing was exempt from complying with the Safe Drinking Water Act (and a few other environmental protection Acts).
Then the news got really bad.
Josh decided to visit some of the areas where hydraulic fracturing was in full swing, talking to the local residents and discovering the side effects off pumping toxic chemical into the ground and fracturing the rock bed. A combination of the poisoning of the water table and the release of toxic gases was having and understandably adverse effect on the residents heath. The water in particular was so toxic and contained such high volumes of natural gas that most residents could turn their taps on, light a match and watch the water erupt in flames.
But even as the natural gas companies supplied some residents who complained with regular supplies of safe drinking water, they claimed that hydraulic fracturing posed no danger what so ever to the environment.
Gasland is a pretty rough, grassroots style documentary. It doesn’t have the flash and panache of a Michael Moore documentary – though it’s something that Moore should put his weight behind – but it does have the passion and raw honesty of a man who turned down easy money in favour of ringing the warning bells.
It’s a shocking and disturbing look at how greed is destroying the very life source of America.
But what does that have to do with New Zealand?
Quite a lot actually. Stuff.co.nz recently reported of the plight of Taranaki based environmentalists fighting Todd Energy who are investigating sites for possible hydraulic fracturing along the coast between Okato and Rahotu. It’s a practice that our closets neighbours are already using.
The damage has already been done in many parts of the USA, but there is still time to prevent an environmental disaster in New Zealand.
Reviewed by: Jonathan