Ask Josh Fox Anything: Is Fracking A Necessary Evil?

The writer/director of Gasland and Gasland II replies:

Meanwhile, Claire Thompson passes along some news from California:

On Monday, the state Assembly’s Natural Resources Committee approved no fewer than three bills calling for a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing until its environmental and health effects are thoroughly studied by the state. Meanwhile, another bill pending in the state Senate would allow fracking to continue for now but would impose a moratorium if the state fails to complete a comprehensive review by January 2015. …

It’s not just [environmentalists] who want to keep their state frack-free. California’s powerful agricultural interests are also calling for more regulation and oversight, given the threat this water-intensive and water-polluting process poses to crops. And considering the growing evidence that fracking can cause earthquakes, every citizen of this already seismically unstable state has reason to be concerned. The state’s fracking fight is centered around the Monterey Shale in Southern California, which holds two-thirds of the country’s estimated oil reserves. Production there had been dwindling until the recent rise of fracking and horizontal drilling made hard-to-reach reserves accessible, and now oil companies are chomping at the bit.

Gasland II just premiered at Tribeca and will air on HBO this summer. Ask Anything archive here.