What the Heck Does Matt Damon Have to Do with Fracking?
The film is said to center around Damon, whose character initially works for a pro-fracking company and eventually wises up and gets a soul… i.e. he becomes the anti-fracking hero. As a refresher, fracking is essentially the procedure of creating fractures in rock, and rock formations by injecting fluid into the ground at high pressure to break the rocks open and release natural gas inside.
Why is fracking dangerous? To summarize – fracking fluid typically contains a mixture of roughly 596 harmful chemicals including but not limited to arsenic, benzene, lead and phenol which can be released into drinking water supply.
The acclaimed and controversial Josh Fox documentary Gasland helped bring to light the dangers of fracking. Hopefully the release of Promised Land will further the conversation.
And, what do you know pro-fracking groups are already on the defensive! The ever “fair and balanced” Fox News is condeming the film and all of hollywood for the activist sentiment that is present in many modern films. Well, Fox News could have stood to add a few more facts to the mentions of fracking in this story, and hopefully readers won’t take that diatribe at face value.
One of the strongest pro-fracking arguments is job creation. I get this, I do. Americans need jobs. But when there are more and more cases of peoples health being severely jeopardized by contaminated water – causing Leukemia and lymphoma, renal failure, pulmonary damage symptoms and more – does job creation trump disease?
I think Environmental scientist and biologist Sandra Steingraber is correct to pose the question, “will fracking kill more people than it employs?” (Steingraber was referring to the state of New York, but the problem is present in Pennsylvania and beyond. )
I encourage readers to make an effort to read up on both sides of the fracking argument. We are better able to affect change when we have the full picture. Unfortunately, big business oil and gas tend to have more dollars to further their message – louder and in brighter colors than the little guy. But, the louder message isn’t always the truth.