"Gasland" Film Director Hopes Movie Impacts Valley

By: McKinsey Harris Email
By: McKinsey Harris Email

A Pennsylvania man is spreading the word about what he calls a dangerous practice in his movie "Gasland."

The documentary uncovers hydraulic fracturing, a process used in natural gas drilling.

Rockingham County leaders are now looking at requests to allow hydrofracking in the Bergton area.

Josh Fox, the film's director and producer, is currently traveling the country for movie screenings.

Fox is working on a trip to the Valley this September, but he hopes residents will tune into HBO on Monday, June 21st at 9 p.m. to see the film earlier.

Fox speaks from experience, as he was approached by a gas company for drilling on his family's property just two years ago.

"I mean here I was getting letters in the mail, offers from the gas company, and all of a sudden it's like this chasm opens up in front of me, this huge problem that's going on all across the United States," says Fox.

While investigating areas where drilling was already occurring, Fox says he saw things like water lighting on fire, kids and animals getting sick, destruction of rural areas and helpless residents.

"They were stunned and shocked and afraid and upset and didn't really know where to turn," says Fox.

Rockingham County Board of Supervisors member Pablo Cuevas says they've been doing a lot of research and working with many state and federal agencies about the process.

"We are not ready, I am not ready to make any recommendation to the board of supervisors because I am not yet satisfied with how safe this is, and where it is as safe," says Cuevas.

Cuevas says movies like "Gasland" and other articles about hydrofracking are things they look at to see how similar the areas are to Rockingham County.

Fox says this exactly what he set out to do.

"Everybody has to really look into the process. And I think maybe one entry point is the film, and that's why we made it was to get people in those affected areas that have already been drilled to the places that haven't been," says Fox.

Fox says it's good the county is researching hydrofracking before making any decisions.

Cuevas says he thinks the only way the government should approve this drilling is if all of the regulations, permits and proper conditions are in place.


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