Is shale gas the answer to the global need for an alternative source of energy? Over the past decade shale gas has become an increasingly significant resource for America; predictions estimate shale gas will contribute up to 50% to gas production in North America by 2020. The Obama administration believes that it could help reduce pollution output and ease the dependency and potential of energy price rigging from Russia and the Persian Gulf States. North America has a cluster of shale plains (some of the largest in the world) and more have been located in South America, Europe and Africa. However, before you start running the bath and dreaming about buying your next Range Rover, open your eyes to the threats that shale gas extraction poses.
Josh Fox (Writer, Director and Star) is one of thousands of Americans who have been approached by an energy company to take a lump sum in return for the use of the gas thousands of feet below their land, but he wishes to explore the issue further before committing to a decision. GasLand is a superbly shot, first person activist, exploratory look at the affects of the shale gas industry, namely “frack” drilling technology and its role in the largest and most extensive domestic gas drilling campaign in history, covering 34 states with over 450,000 wells. Fox sheds light on countless first person experiences illustrating the negative side effects that fracking incurs and the institutional and systemic subversive barriers that prevent solving the issue.
In the global race to secure energy provisions, GasLand paints a bleak picture for the current methods, effects and future of shale gas extraction and the chances of America ever abiding to cut greenhouse emissions dramatically. It is no coincidence that in 2005, Bush rejected the Kyoto Protocol and pushed through a new energy bill exempting the oil and natural gas industry from a number of provisions including the Clean Air Act. As the scramble for resources continue and the current European economic conditions prevail, the appeal of shale gas increases and the reality of fracking impinging on new households is very real.
For instance, here is a link to the first European interdisciplinary shale gas initiative - excuse the acronym: