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What the frack? Muckracking documentary warns of danger posed by natural gas drilling

Josh Fox wears gas mask and plays banjo in 'Gasland.'
Josh Fox wears gas mask and plays banjo in 'Gasland.'
Gasland/HBO Documentary Films

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After Pennsylvania native Josh Fox was offered $100,000 to lease his land for natural gas drilling he began investigating an extraction method called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The process pumps large amounts of water underground to fracture rock and release natural gas, and, according to Fox can release toxins into public water supplies. Industry has responded that his claims are unsubstantiated and that the film's most impressive images--homeowners lighting their tap water on fire--weren't shot on fracking-adjacent land. Yet, Fox sees major similarities between the oil drilling and natural gas industries – many natural gas companies have limited safety regulations and no set-in-stone procedure in case of emergencies. How dangerous, and what are the long-lasting effects, of hydraulic fracturing? Who are you more inclined to trust?



Josh Fox, director, Gasland