In May 2008, Josh Fox from Milanville, Pennsylvania received a letter from a gas company with an offer to lease the family’s land for $100,000 and in return, the company could drill for natural gas.
After receiving the contract offer, Fox looked for more information about drilling for natural gas. He visited Dimock, Pennsylvania where drilling had already begun. He met with families who were stunningly able to set a light the water running from their tap while listening to the families express their concerns about potential health issues as they fear their water has been contaminated.
In Gasland, Fox sets out to see how communities are being affected in the west where a natural gas drilling boom has been underway for the last decade. Spending time with people in their homes, the families tell their stories of how drilling for natural gas on their land has affected their lives.
We hear from the people who have experienced a variety of chronic health problems as well as air pollution, water wells or surface water.
Some of the people have even gone as far as obtaining court junctions or cash settlements from the gas companies to the replace the affected water supplies with drinking water or water purification kits.
The documentary reaches out to scientists, politicians and gas industry executives and ultimately where Fox finds himself in the halls of Congress as a subcommittee was discussing the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act, “a bill to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to repeal a certain exemption for hydraulic fracturing.”
Hydraulic fracturing was exempted from the Safe Drinking Water Act in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.