By: Henry J. Fromage (Two Beers) –
Back in 2011, one documentary stood out in the Best Documentary category of the Oscars as one I’d never heard of. It was obvious that Gasland was a much smaller production than its competitors, without any of their flash or celebrity endorsements. Josh Fox, like a slimmer, humbler Michael Moore in Roger and Me, was just a regular guy trying to open our eyes to a serious issue, fracking.
How Battlestar Galactica avoided censors all those years truly was an injustice
Gasland Part II is the logical extension of that film, as we’ve passed from Bush to Obama and regulations and oversight have failed to improve, and in some cases just gotten worse. Fracking’s becoming more widespread, branching out into communities you’d never expect and even spreading overseas. Josh Fox, motivated by the pending destruction of his childhood home, isn’t going to stop his crusade, though.
This movie makes you angry. I don’t have to tell anyone keeping tabs on civil liberties that all of the joy and promise of change Obama’s election brought has amounted to a hill of corporate sponsored, military/industrial complex manufactured beans, but goddam, if there’s one thing that you’d expect from the most “forward-thinking” administration in decades, it’d be at the very least consistent enforcement of environmental regulations. Nope.
Fuck, listen to me. No, I’m not from Fox & Friends, I promise
Of course, Republicans largely got us in this mess, which is admitted by a rifles ‘n red meat Republican who’s been driven off his land by the water table getting poisoned out beneath him, entirely legally apparently, prompting him to say, “One of the founding principals of conservativism is private property rights, and you’ve got no private property rights, not in Texas at least!” Nope, this is truly a nonpartisan issue, and proof positive that Congress can work together… to ignore, impede, or actively deprive you of your rights if the money’s good enough, that is! This film, as an unintended side effect of investigating fracking, also is a damning document of the bumfuck way in which corporations and state and federal governments interact, and how if you have enough lawyers and lobbyists, the rule of law is just a temporary obstacle.
Okay, enough politics. The mountain of evidence of how dangerous and uncontainable fracking is, the personal testimonies from the involved at every level from homeowner to congressional representatives, and just the plain footage of the natural abomination that is flaming water are staggering. Fox throws everything he can find at fracking, and how anyone can think this is a good idea at this point is beyond me.
At one point, Gasland Part II offers evidence that seems to link frequency of earthquakes and hydraulic fracking. If this is truly the case, then this might be the biggest argument of the whole film. As such, it would have been good to have more experts weigh in on the possibility/existing correlation.
The point at which Josh Fox gets thrown out of a Congressional hearing for passively trying to film it, in violation of one of our bedrock rights, with no legal reason provided, shows just how stacked the deck is against the common man at this point. Hopefully this film can further spread the word on the irresponsible practice of hydraulic fracking, and prompt some honest-to-God change.
Take a Drink: whenever you hear “fracking”
Take a Drink: for disgusting and/or flammable water
Take a Drink: whenever a corporation just outright lies and dares somebody to do something about it
Do a Shot: when a corporation goes even more Dark Side than that
Do a Shot: every time the government does the opposite of what it’s supposed to