Trailer Talk's Frack Talk: Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy Speak Out Along With the Flimmaker of FRACK! The Movie
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When the well runs dry we learn the worth of water -- Ben Franklin.
This is how FRACK! the movie begins. It's this threat to water among many other vital things that keeps uniting residents throughout the Catskills and Delaware River Basin.
This isn't to portray the overall situation as one of unification; rather, the threat of natural gas drilling is fracturing communities while simultaneously building an increasing movement of people who are saying not in my backyard or yours either. The situation is complex and the reasons people may feel otherwise are often very compelling, and there are many voices to share in this ground zero of the movement to hold off the drillers.
Hundreds of people gathered on April 2 and civilians become heroes as they practice democracy and united to protect their neighborhoods in the face of unregulated gas drilling and fracking. Frack, once an unfamiliar word, is now a term used multiple times a day by those living on or near the shale; it has entered the lexicon of the language associated with natural gas drilling and the education continues about this technique of gas extraction as it is central to the debate about the safety, the viability and the impacts of natural gas.
Filmmaker David Morris, a Delaware County resident, joined the kitchen table of Trailer Talk to talk about his film FRACK!, in addition to Jill Wiener and Bruce Ferguson, volunteers from Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy (included in the film), at a Potluck fundraiser for the film at the Mountain View Manor in Glen Spey, New York in the Sullivan County Catskills. The event was presented by the Homestead School and Peter Comstock, Heirloom Acres, Mountain View Manor, and Lumberland Concerned Citizens (LCC). People gathered, dishes in hand, to dine, watch the film and participate in a town hall about strategies, news and concerns facing people in their communities as the Leviathan of gas drilling rages.
This fundraiser for the film was shared with this community of concerned, activist, neighborly, organized and an increasingly growing network of residents who are finding ways to provide outreach and education, political organizing and legal methods for stopping the invasion of drillers and provided an opportunity for members from various grassroots and environmental groups and residents throughout this region of the Catskills and the Delaware River Basin to brainstorm and to share in the victories of holding off the monster so far.
This event was in Glen Spey, New York in the Sullivan County Catskills at the Mountain View Lodge, located where there used to be so many other grand hotels, and is a place that resonates with the history of Sullivan County -- a place of ethnic diversity, of a former grandness gone wild and a place a bit weary of economic swings, a place of fresh mountain air, of forests and fresh water and a fierce independence as it intertwines with its downstate neighbor of 100 miles away as it provides the water for the Big Apple.
David Morris has begun touring the region with his film, including many screenings in Pennsylvania, to share the triumph of community activism and share the faces of those living on dead rivers and in towns that have blow-outs, polluted water and angry debate about drilling. FRACK! chronicles the debate so familiar to those attending the potluck but still unknown to a huge percentage of the national population.
As guests carried in delicious dishes for the potluck, Jill Wiener and Bruce Ferguson from Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy joined Trailer Talk to talk about the threat to New York caused by vertical wells (the same technique that polluted water in Dimock, PA) that is happening now in upstate New York. They shared the triumphs of their organization that was started by a few people three-plus years ago around a kitchen table and now has over 6,000 members. As the issuance of the second draft of the Department of Environmental Conservation's SGEIS draws near and the possibility of horizontal hydrofracking in New York still looms, an event like this to support a community member and conversations with neighbors working around the clock to save what they value in their hometowns makes one wonder what is worth protecting in our own neighborhoods?