The 2013 Environmental Media Awards were a fracking good time last Saturday. The green award show, which recognizes the best films or television episodes with an environmental message, honored fracking drama “Promised Land” in the feature film category and recognized ABC’s Last Man Standing for their episode “Mother Fracker.” In the documentary category, HBO film “Gasland 2″—which warns of the environmental impact of the new F word—took home top honors.
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process of drilling in to the ground in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas. Natural gas is a natural resource used for heating, cooking, electricity generation, and fuel, but the environmental impacts of induced fracking have become a contentious issue. According to DangersOfFracking.com, it takes one to eight million gallons of water to complete a single fracking job. Matt Damon, who has long been an activist for water conservation and sanitation, is a major opponent of fracking, and was at the EMA to receive the Ongoing Commitment Award.
Damon told the Hollywood Reporter that the “[EMA] has a really far reach and a loud voice and so much can be mitigated by changing our behavior. To get people conscious and start thinking of resource scarcity and things like that is a pretty big step.”
Other environmentally concerned celebrities like Julie Bowen, Hayden Panettiere, Malin Akerman, and James Van Der Beek were on hand.
To frack, a mixture of water, sand, and hundreds of chemicals is shot 10,000 feet into the earth, possibly contaminating nearby groundwater. Chemicals like methanol, lead, hydrochloric acid, and uranium are used in “franking fluid.” The Dangers of Fracking website claims that “there have been over 1,000 documented cases of water contamination next to areas of gas drilling as well as cases of sensory, respiratory, and neurological damage due to ingested contaminated water.”
Energy companies and websites like EnergyFromShale.org have gone on the offensive to tell their side of the story. According to EnergyFromShale.org, fracking provides abundant and clean burning energy, strengthens local economies, and reduces America’s reliance on foreign fuel. Two months ago Columbia Law School’s Thomas Merrill and David Schizer reported that “there is little evidence so far that subterranean fracturing activity can directly contaminate groundwater, and this risk may never materialize.” The long and short: both sides of the fracking debate are in an all out war filled with university studies and quotes from notable scientists, politicians and celebrities.
Those notable, and notably rich, people gathered at the EMA’s Saturday night to pat themselves on the back for a few hours—much like the Oscars and Golden Globes. However, the self-aggrandizement associated with celebrities and award shows was trotted out for a good cause this time, albeit a profitable one for the stars in attendance.
By Patrick Moore for DietsInReview.com