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From the Open-Publishing Calendar
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Indybay Feature


Wednesday, April 27, 2011
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Event Type:
Location Details:
Humanist Hall
390 27th Street
uptown Oakland, between Telegraph and Broadway

Film evenings begin with potluck refreshments and social hour at 6:30 pm,
followed by the film at 7:30 pm, followed by a discussion after the film.

by Josh Fox

We may think of natural gas as a clean burning fuel. Gasland gives us the inside story of “clean.” Natural gas is not a clean energy, and if this is our bridge fuel, we aren’t going far. It’s another dirty fossil fuel that creates massive amounts of toxic and radioactive waste for which industry has no plan. They are spreading this waste on our farmland, dumping it in streams and ditches and burying it in fields. The water use is simply not sustainable and our surface and groundwater is being contaminated. A scarcity of clean water is one of the greatest problems in arid western states, so pumping millions of gallons of water underground to retrieve natural gas is a huge concern, not to mention water contamination. The emissions make natural gas worse for the climate than coal! This film Gasland could be as significant as Silent Spring. It is surely one of the best eco-documentaries ever made.

Rising demand for natural gas has drillers looking to less easily-recoverable sources. A new process called “hydraulic fracturing” is being used by companies like Cabot Oil and Gas and Chesapeake Energy to extract natural gas that is bound up in the rock of a geologic formation called the Marcellus Shale, which stretches from New York and Pennsylvania through West Virginia, Ohio, and into eastern Kentucky and Tennessee. The natural gas drilling industry uses a new technology called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” that causes groundwater pollution and other grave environmental damage. From unregulated air pollution to poisoned wells to ear-splitting round-the-clock noise to muddied streams to wildlife and fish kills, large swaths of the United States are getting fracked. “Fracking” injects enormous quantities of water and a witches brew of toxic chemicals including benzene and glycol ethers, under extremely high pressure to break up the underground shale formation, releasing the natural gas from the rock. The gas is then pumped to the surface where it is processed, compressed, and then piped away. Some of the water and toxic chemicals used to fracture the shale are pumped back to the surface, and stored in open pits. Thanks to the “Halliburton Loophole” passed in 2005 during the Bush-Cheney administration, natural gas drilling is exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Fracking is underground. On ground level, this incredible film highlights the nightmare scenario of what is really happening to our lands. It is as if America were taken over by evil aliens, intent on sucking the earth dry, regardless of the consequences to the planet — or to humanity. It’s really happening and it’s worse than anyone can imagine. Josh Fox has filmed it all, venturing out into the small towns of America and actually speaking to regular citizens who are now paying the ultimate price for “clean” gas drilling with permanent health effects, including brain damage, chronic respiratory conditions, and many other serious conditions. Their land is worthless, their water undrinkable. The now famous scene where the tap water actually bursts into flame is just the tip of the iceburg. The epidemic of fracking now taking place in America is worse than any disease we’ve ever encountered. It destroys our water, our air, our animals, our vegetation (including farm crops), our livestock, our health and our lives. Fracking is the destructive power of exploding nuclear power plants times fifty.

Wheelchair accessible around the corner at 411 28th Street

$5 donations are accepted
Added to the calendar on Thu, Apr 7, 2011 11:21PM
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