by Ali Berman
Categories: People
Tags: , .

Much to the delight of anti-fracking activists like Mark Ruffalo, director Josh Fox‘s documentary Gasland was nominated for an Academy Award this morning.

The film explores fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, a technology developed by Halliburton. What exactly is fracking? Aside from the best sci-fi swear word ever coined (thank you Battlestar Gallactica)!

The Gasland website describes it as follows:

“Hydraulic fracturing or fracking is a means of natural gas extraction employed in deep natural gas well drilling. Once a well is drilled, millions of gallons of water, sand and proprietary chemicals are injected, under high pressure, into a well. The pressure fractures the shale and props open fissures that enable natural gas to flow more freely out of the well.”

What’s the problem with that? Well, the water injected down there can mix with the ground water, essentially polluting it with heavy metals and carcinogens.

Ruffalo, a long time anti-fracking activist, has promoted the film, held a panel on the effects of frackingattended a protest and was even added to a terror watch list.

Gasland has already won the prestigious Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize for documentaries.

Watch the trailer for Gasland below…

About Ali Berman

Ali Berman is the author of Choosing a Good Life: Lessons from People Who Have Found Their Place in the World (Hazelden) and Misdirected (Seven Stories Press). She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. Her published work can be found on her website at In early 2012 Ali co-founded flipmeover, a production company with the mission to use media to raise awareness of social issues.

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  • ANGA

    The natural gas community is committed to the safe and responsible development of this abundant resource. This film is proven to be full of inaccuracies that cloud natural gas’ true potential. Visit to get the facts.

    • sue

      I live in New York state and I am not at all thrilled with the thought of this beautiful place getting trashed by gas drillers. I’m also sick of the hateful rhetoric I hear on a daily basis between pro and con people. I am not a “nimby” and I’m getting sick of being called that by perfect strangers.

    • Bueno

      Would you drink the water ANGA?

  • Cyn Difford

    I don’t think all the participants in the film are deluded or liars. Any company has to be called questionable when it requires people to sign non-disclosure agreements. If it’s so clean and safe, why not let people talk to the media and tell them how safe and clean it is? And if it’s so clean and safe, why are these properties unmarketable after they have allowed the drilling on their land? And why won’t mortgage companies even consider giving a mortgage to land adjoining lands that allow the drilling?

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