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Natural Awakenings Lehigh Valley

Josh Fox Digs Deeper into Fracking Debate


Gasland II, the sequel to the Oscar-nominated and Sundance Film Festival award-winning documentary Gasland, made by acclaimed filmmaker Josh Fox, of Milanville, in Northeast Pennsylvania, will debut at 9 p.m., July 8, on HBO.

Gasland II continues to expose the human cost of the controversial practice of hydraulic fracking as a means of extracting natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation in Pennsylvania and other shale formations throughout the country. Fox also chronicles a disturbing trend towards anti-terrorist practices and electronic surveillance employed by governmental agencies to limit the freedoms of fracking opponents.

More than 80,000 pounds of chemicals and 3.5 million gallons of water are injected into the Earth’s crust to frack each well. Sixty-five of the compounds have been determined to be hazardous to human health. Also, 70 percent of the water and chemical mixture injected is not retrieved in the fracking process, nor is it biodegradable.

A loophole in the 2005 U.S. Energy Bill exempts drillers from conforming to such EPA guidelines as the Clean Water Act. Fox presents both leading scientists and real people that are struggling with contaminated water wells, devastated home and land values and serious health effects that have occurred since fracking was initiated in their local areas.

Residents in the Delaware River watershed are advised that pending legislation could open this area, which serves more than 20 million people, including New York City, Philadelphia and most of New Jersey, to fracking.

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