Don't Play the Gasland Game
by Thomas Ryan Ward
(Though I wrote this over 2 years ago...it is becoming ever more relevant.)
Many Americans are experiencing an economic boom in these troubled times that seems too good to be true - and it is. Reports and testimonials are growing on a silent land lease program across the country where Natural Gas companies come to small communities and offer land owners a range of tempting cash-in-hand offers for land leasing in return for the chance to set up shop and begin a process called Hydraulic Fracturing (which sounds bad enough) more commonly known as Fracking.
GASLAND, a documentary film on HBO, was created by Pennsylvanian Josh Fox, whose family was presented one of these tempting offers. Unlike many of his neighbors, Mr. Fox not only investigated the effects Hydraulic Fracturing could have on his land and water but went one step farther - traveling the nation to learn more. Fox sought out individuals and communities which had "taken the Fracking bait" and have been left with not just egg on their faces but contamination in their water.
Sustainable energy is possible, though many times the processes and production to get our nation there are not as simple. Our goals should be simple - combat scenarios such as these, fighting exploitation and uncovering community manipulation (whether through greed or fear.) Being green might be good for frogs but finding real world answers to our energy needs is a simple matter of science taking the lead and Big Oil (and its cousins) taking a backseat.
Question, uncover and decide.