Fracking Faces New Public Scrutiny With Movies

Will 'Promised Land' Change Tone of National Conversation?

Controversial: B’nai B’rith’s Perlman Camp in Lake Como, Pa. signed a lease to allow fracking on its land.
courtesy of b'nai b'rith
Controversial: B’nai B’rith’s Perlman Camp in Lake Como, Pa. signed a lease to allow fracking on its land.

By Reuters

Published December 24, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 4 of 4)

“The lesson of ‘Gasland’ is that public perception is a very big part of the equation,” said Jonathan Wood, a political risk analyst at London-based Control Risks, whose clients include oil companies.

In a report this month, Wood wrote that the industry has “largely failed to appreciate social and political risks, and has repeatedly been caught off guard by the sophistication, speed and influence of anti-fracking activists.”

Hydraulic fracturing entails pumping water laced with chemicals and sand at high pressure into shale rock formations to break them up and unleash hydrocarbons.

The minerals are trapped thousands of feet below water tables, but critics worry that fracking fluids or hydrocarbons can still leak into water tables from wells, or above ground. Among their other concerns: fracking-related earthquakes, and growing dependence on fossil fuels.

The United States now rivals Russia as the world’s top gas producer, in large part due to fracking, and has stemmed a long decline in oil output, which stands at an 18-year high near 7 million barrels a day.

So far, the Obama administration has cautiously endorsed the new drilling, but the U.S. Department of Interior is working on new fracking rules on public lands starting next year.

Some drillers have faced fracking-related fines for water contamination due to spilled fracking fluid. Last year, after sampling water in rural Pavillion, Wyoming, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented the first-ever U.S. government finding of a potential link between fracking and water contamination.

More broadly, however, the EPA condones fracking on safety grounds. But unlike the growing consensus among climate scientists linking global warming and industrial activity, there is no consensus that fracking poses a danger. Unconventional drilling has surged only over the last half decade.

The EPA will release an in-depth study on fracking’s potential impacts on water supplies in 2014.

Tough economic times can widen support for drilling. A national Gallup poll this year showed that more Americans favored prioritizing economic growth over the protection of the environment (49 percent versus 41 percent).

That’s a reversal from 2007, when 55 percent favored environmental protection.

Cuban is betting the hot potato issue will draw viewers to “FrackNation” on his cable channel.

“Op-Ed-umentaries like this are supposed to make people think about the topic, which is always a good thing,” he said.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.