Documentaries tend not to have a follow up, but in illuminating hydraulic fracturing in “Gasland”, Josh Fox was urged to do a sequel as to address new discoveries about fracking. The new findings in “Gasland Part II” were composed of earthquakes, methane leaks, well failures, and could have caused hurricane Irene due to climate change. Although Fox’s has a narrow view on fracking, the oil industry opposes his outlook and view him and people like him speaking out as ecoterrorists.
From the documentary residents of Dimock spoke up about their wells being drilled, the wells casing braking due to drilling and in turn wanted action as reciprocation. Equally important to drilling, well casing is crucial to note because well casing is formed by cement and if that ruptures, the chemicals seep into ground water. Because of all the limelight the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) responded by taking water samples to study and give the residence of Dimock clean water until the EPA could conclude their findings. Despite the EPA’s efforts the support was quickly stagnant after the state of the union address in 2012, due to gas companies’ manipulating members of congress who had a hand in motives of the EPA. In fact, the method EPA was able to pull out of Dimock was to pacify the residents with money, make them sign non-disclosure agreements and EPA spoke out to say the water wasn’t contaminated. While findings of EPA tests Fox secured, showed the water was contaminated 50 times over the legal limit with methane. In the eyes of Fox the Gas industry had the power and manipulated the government.
Alternatively the gas industry supposedly debunked Fox’s findings with science that is credited to energy in depth. Cabot a gas company and EPA have come to a conclusion that the water in the 11 cases of Dimock were found clean and safe for human consumption across the board. The casings in the wells were cemented and couldn’t have ruptured in the Marcellus shale fracking. So this supposedly cleared fracking in the news by discrediting findings from “Gasland part II”.
Then again though there are the two sides of the debate, but who has control over the topic? The people seemed empowered in the documentary, but ultimately the side that has control is the economic elite who are also known as the gas industry. Whatever side it appears I look into may modify their science to appeal to the target audience based on the research I find. With that being said, author Steve Everley of the Debunking “Gasland part II”, the article is backed by the gas companies who can afford to hire any scientist to stimulate a positive platform for fracking.
Worth mentioning in the documentary Fox discloses a scene on Cabots conference on how to handle residents having a voice. Firstly, the platform intended to get across that fracking will promote energy independence, make jobs, and show that it’s safe now and improving daily. “The winning strategy over landowners for Cabot was to define a future that resolves fundamental societal fears by means of Psychological Operations (PSYOPS).” PSYOPS is a method used to destabilize a population from an uncertain invading army that is practiced in the military or in this case gas companies. However this method is not to be used on the American people according to the Defense Department. Following that Cabot was teaching their employees about counter insurgencies which means to use strategies to manage outrage and labeling the people who act against them ecoterrorists, implying Josh Fox could very well be labeled one.
Whereas Everley did not mention the PYSOPS until someone commented on the matter which was alarming in the article. Steve Everley stated “that the companies were not using that method and are trying to achieve less emissions and help consumers save money while creating jobs.” Sounds like a reoccurring strategy that Cabot had from “Gasland Part II”. It seems as if both sides, like a political campaign will stretch the truth, but in the end you can be on one side.