The most infamous case of supposed water contamination from hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking) happened three years ago in a tiny hamlet called Dimock, Pennsylvania and if you want to know how ugly and sordid the whole affair got, just read Andrew Maykuth’s Inquirer story.
As Maykuth writes, the natural gas drilling fight tore apart neighbors with every resident either for fracking or against it.
“One family who cooperated with the gas company to fix their water supply erected a tarp to block out their neighbors, who had sued the drillers and accused their neighbors of selling out. The family that sued posted signs around its modest ranch house: “For Sale: $5,000,000,” Maykuth reports.
In the end, a community was roiled and may not recover, the drilling is resuming, the oil and gas industry has a black eye, the state has new, safer rules for fracking but also the federal government had to admit it couldn’t find a direct link between the drilling and the water contamination.
Never mind all of that, however. As dramatic, important, complicated and compelling as the reality may be, nothing can overcome the power of propaganda. And so, what people know of Dimock if they know anything at all is Josh Fox’s Oscar nominated agit-prop film called “Gasland.”
That Fox’s movie has been debunked of much of its most controversial claims is unimportant to HBO which is going to promote and show Fox’s planned sequel. And this in the face of even bolder and more inaccurate claims in Fox’s rebuttal to the criticisms of Gasland, an 18-minute short film called “The Sky is Pink,” which at its core claims (without a shred of evidence) that fracking causes breast cancer.
In an effort to help Fox produce more of a documentary follow-up to Gasland rather than another screed, the group Energy In Depth has written Fox to suggest ways to improve ”Gasland 2,” by including some facts.
As EID’s letter suggests, an update on Dimock would be a good place to start.