“Gasland” – the exposé on natural gas drilling by Director Josh Fox that aired on HBO last summer – was nominated today for an Oscar in the “Best Documentary” category for the 2011 Academy Awards.
As I’ve said before, this important film vividly portrays the ugly side of industrial natural gas production in America, by telling real stories about how risky drilling has ruined ordinary folks’ lives. It serves as a stark reminder that there are consequences when powerful outsiders are allowed to drill in our backyards without adequate regulations or oversight.
New York officials especially can take valuable lessons away from “Gasland” and complete a thorough, scientific review of proposed drilling in the Marcellus Shale before any rigs break ground. The arbitrary June 1, 2011 deadline former Gov. David Paterson set last month for an environmental review is unrealistic – five months is nowhere near sufficient to generate a satisfactory new review, given the amount of unanswered questions we have about whether drilling is safe. The new governor should nix the deadline and make sure it’s done right.
If you haven’t seen the film – see it. And then tell your friends to see it it. Here’s a sneak-peak at the trailer, and you can learn more about it here.
I'd also like to send out congratulations to Mark Ruffalo for his Best Supporting Actor nomination for The Kids are All Right. Mark – who lives with his family in the Catskills region where drilling may occur – is a tireless advocate for ensuring dirty drilling doesn't happen in his backyard and has been a great friend to NRDC through this debate. He accompanied me and my colleagues to survey the damage in Dimock, PA, where fracking has taken a huge toll on the residents' health, safety, and livelihoods.
Congrats and good luck, Mark!