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Fracking movie may educate viewers

An opinion piece in the Huffington Post by writer Marcia G. Yerman compares the Gus Van Zandt movie Promised Land to movies such as Silkwood and The China Syndrome, in that it “uses mainstream entertainment to delve into American values, corporate responsibility, and activism.”

The central issue is the controversial method of natural gas extraction called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” which involves pumping chemically treated water underground to break up subterranean rock formations and release the gas.

Fracking has generated a lot of environmental concerns in the areas where it’s used, including the Marcellus Shale — a gas-rich underground rock formation that extends into New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

Among the concerns is that fracking water contains toxic components such as the carcinogen benzene, which activists worry might contaminate drinking water supplies.

The movie stars Matt Damon and Frances McDormand as representatives of a natural gas company tasked with selling local townspeople on the benefits of selling the drilling rights to their properties. But they find the local people have reservations, as part of what Damon has described as “a complex issue that’s dividing a lot of communities right now.”

“Promised Land is positioned to motivate filmgoers to learn more about the issue of fracking,” Yerman writes. “From there, they can draw their own assessments about personal action and how their voices can have an impact on the future of the planet.”

Lopez McHugh is investigating injuries related to natural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale natural gas reserve. If you have significant injuries, contact a Lopez McHugh attorney for a free evaluation.

See the piece here: