Originally aired on 7/8/2011
Host Ira Glass tells the stories of two professors, each making a calculation that no one had made before. One gets acclaim. One ends up out of a job. The first, Terry Engelder, a geologist at Penn State, was estimating the amount of natural gas that's recoverable from the Marcellus shale, a giant rock formation that's under Pennsylvania and several other Eastern states. The second, Conrad "Dan" Volz, at the University of Pittsburgh, estimated how much toxic crap—chemicals and pollution from gas exploration—might be getting into water supplies.
Originally heard on Making Contact which aired on Wednesday, August 4th at 2:30pm.
While the BP oil spill has increased calls to use natural gas as a so-called ‘clean energy’ alternative, activists are sounding the alarm bell about this controversial gas drilling technique – hydraulic fracturing.
This week, we’ll hear excerpts from the movie “Gasland.” We’ll also hear from people from Pennsylvania to the mountains of Colorado who are trying to prevent the toxic fallout from ‘fracking’ before it starts.
Special thanks to Josh Fox, the producer of ‘Gasland,’ and to Alton Byrd and Rachel Zurer for helping to produce this show.
Walter Hang, Toxics Targeting President; Josh Fox, ‘Gasland’ movie producer; Weston Wilson, EPA employee not speaking on behalf of the EPA; Oil and gas industry executives; Pat Farnelli, Norma Fiorintino, Ron & Jean Carter, Dimock, PA residents; Dr. Theo Colborn, Endocrine Disruption Exchange President; Paul Light, Grand Valley Citizen’s Alliance President; Rachel Waldholz, High Country News Correspondent; Maurice Hinchey, New York State Representative, 22nd District; Wes Gillingham, Catskill Mountainkeeper Program Director.
GASLAND: Resistance to drilling in the Marcellus Shale
Originally heard on TUC Radio which airs Monday at 9:30pm on WJFF.
Six weeks into the BP oil disaster President Obama said we need to move to natural gas as a clean fuel alternative. Material from the trailer to the movie GASLAND and voices from DamascusCitizens.org call that into question. They say that chemicals used in the process of hydraulic fracturing and set free in drilling have poisoned water and air. A grassroots movement is resisting the encroachment of gas drilling into Pennsylvania and upstate New York.
They encounter two problems: The fossil fuel industry was exempted from the clean air and safe drinking water act under the Bush administration, and corporations do not need to disclose what chemicals they use. Test results from drinking water in people's homes and from spills and sediment in evaporation ponds at drill sites have now identified 247 out of over 300 chemicals and they include carcinogens, mutagens, and neurotoxins.
Josh Fox, for his movie GASLAND, reports from 24 states on the impacts of chemical hydraulic fracturing. He uncovered water that can be lit on fire right out of the tap, talks to chronically ill residents of drilling areas from many different locations in the US, describes pools of toxic waste that kill cattle and vegetation, and well blowouts and gas explosions.
Natural Gas, in the eyes of oil service corporations such as Halliburton, and the stock market, is in it's tenth year of an unprecedented boom. The US, they say, is the Saudi Arabia of natural gas with 450,000 gas wells already operating in over 32 states and aggressively expanding. This program tries to capture some of the imagination and determination of the local people in this David and Goliath confrontation.
Part ONE: Josh Fox from his trailer for the movie GASLAND and Barbara Arrindell and Joe Levine from Damascus Citizens, interviewed by Fred Pecora, producer at WJFF.
Originally aired June 16, 2010, NPR's All Things Considered, heard weekdays from 4:00 - 6:00pm.
Two years ago, Pennsylvania opened the door to a natural gas drilling technique that's caused controversy in some Western states. At the time, environmentalists worried that high-volume hydrofracking could contaminate water supplies, but the state and industry insisted that fracking was safe. Now, after a spate of accidents, Pennsylvania regulators are tightening up the rules governing fracking.
Originally aired 6/10/2010 on NPR's Fresh Air program, heard weekdays at 3:00pm on WJFF.
Josh Fox lives in the Upper Delaware River Basin, on the border straddling Pennsylvania and New York State. In May 2008, he received a letter from a natural gas mining company. The company wanted to lease 19.5 acres of land from Fox — and would pay him $100,000 to do so.
"[They say] 'We might not even drill,' " he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. " 'We don't even know if there's gas here. It's going to be a fire hydrant in the middle of a field — very little impact to your land. You won't hardly know we're here.' "
Instead of saying yes, Fox decided to travel around the country to see how the process of natural gas drilling affected other communities and homeowners. The result, his documentary Gasland, premieres on HBO on June 21.
The Environmental Protection Agency has begun a review of how the drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking,’ can affect drinking water quality. We speak Dr. Theo Colborn, the President of The Endocrine Disruption Exchange and one of the foremost experts on health and environmental effects of the toxic chemicals used in fracking.
Originally aired on WJFF Nov. 13, 2009 on Trailer Talk with Sabrina Artel.
Community members speak with Sabrina Artel at the New York State DEC's public comment hearing at Sullivan County Community College in Loch Sheldrake, New York. Recorded on 10/28/2009.
Originally aired on Making Waves, 11/23/2009.
Host, Mary Hall speaks with Wes Gillingham of Catskill Mountainkeeper about the DEC public comment sessions on the proposed Marcellus Shale gas drilling evironmental impact study.
Excerpts from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) public comment forum held at Sullivan County Community College in Loch Sheldrake, NY, on 10/28/2009.
Originally aired November 8, 2009, on JeffHorse heard on WJFF on Sunday nights at 11pm. Part 1 of 3.
Originally aired Oct. 6, 2009, on Democracy Now! heard on WJFF, weekdays at 9am.
"Last week, government regulators opened the door to natural gas drilling inside the Marcellus Shale watershed, which supplies drinking water to some 15 million people, including nine million New Yorkers. Stretching from New York to Kentucky, the shale is believed to hold some of the world’s largest deposits of natural gas. Proponents say the drilling will boost the nation’s economic recovery and reduce dependence on foreign oil. But environmentalists are warning the drilling could contaminate New York’s water supply as it has in other states. The proposed regulations are now open for public comment until the end of the next month, followed by a final decision early next year...."
Click here to read the transcript, listen to the audio or watch the video.