Starkey Citizens for a Clean & Healthy Environment
Gasland’s Impact on the Explosive Growth of the Anti-Fracking Movement

When filmmaker Josh Fox released his Gasland documentary in 2010, anti-fracking activism consisted primarily of a small number of grassroots groups operating in states where the shale gas industry was ramping up its activities. The groups’ members often had to struggle to get their neighbors and political representatives to listen to their concerns about the risks associated with this extreme form of energy extraction.

“Josh Fox’s Gasland blew the doors off what was happening, raising awareness a tremendous amount. It had a big impact on growing the movement,” said Mark Schlosberg, national organizing director for Food & Water Watch.

Three years later, anti-fracking activism has grown into a full-fledged national movement. Its members are diverse, ranging from homeowners displaced by the shale gas industry’s harmful activities, to farmers worried about fracking’s impact on their land and animals, to nurses and doctors attending to the health of their patients. “Josh Fox’s Gasland blew the doors off what was happening, raising awareness a tremendous amount. It had a big impact on growing the movement,” said Mark Schlosberg, national organizing director for Food & Water Watch, in a recent interview with EcoWatch. “I see 2013 as being a year where that growth continues. We’re going to have some wins, and we’re going to have some setbacks, like any movement. But we’re headed in a trajectory that is really very positive.”

Fox agrees with Schlosberg’s prediction. During an April 3 national conference call on fracking, Fox said he has spoken with activists and news media in other nations where fracking is occurring or where significant shale gas reserves exist. Concerned citizens in these nations are looking at the strategies adopted by the U.S. anti-fracking movement to guide them as they fight the natural gas industry’s practices in their own backyards.

Through their determination, activists are keeping fracking at bay in New York state, in regions along the Delaware River, and in cities and towns in Colorado, noted Fox.
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