The controversial use of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” that is behind the country’s natural gas boom has come under scrutiny in the new Hollywood drama, “Promised Land,” and met stiff resistance in New York state, where a four-year moratorium against the process could soon expire. Supporters say fracking is essential to U.S. energy independence, a way to revitalize depressed rural areas with new mining jobs and gas projects. But opponents warn that hundreds of millions of gallons of chemically treated water used in the process will pollute drinking water supplies and agricultural fields.
New research by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Colorado say methane — a potent greenhouse gas — may be escaping from gas sites at much higher rates than previously thought. To dive into this firestorm of debate, today we host a debate with two supporters of fracking and two opponents. We are joined by Kate Hudson, Watershed Program director at Riverkeeper, New York’s clean water advocate; Phelim McAleer, a filmmaker who produced a pro-fracking documentary called “FrackNation”; Daniel Simmons, director of state of regulatory affairs at the Institute for Energy Research; and Mayor Matt Ryan of Binghamton, New York, who is a former professor of environmental law and outspoken opponent of fracking.
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ABOUT Amy Goodman
Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 900 stations in North America. She is the author of “Breaking the Sound Barrier,” recently released in paperback and now a New York Times best-seller.