The issue of hydro-fracking takes center stage in Syracuse, with some star power taking part in the debate. A documentary claiming to reveal the dangers of the natural gas drilling method was shown in Syracuse. As YNN's Erin Clarke tells us, the film's director says despite the benefits touting by gas drilling industry, he believes hydro-fracking cannot be done safely.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- With star power to back it, the documentary Gasland was screened in Syracuse to show the community what the film's director says is a no-win situation.
"I know even if they drill and frack my neighbor's property or even just one property in my entire neighborhood my property value will go down and my health will be in danger," said Gasland Director, Josh Fox.
The roughly 100 minute film showed horror stories of people across the country affected by hydraulic fracturing or hydro-fracking. From flaming water to animals and people dying from contaminated water they say happened after wells were drilled nearby.
"In the state of Texas, all around the state, Cancer rates, specifically Breast Cancer rates went down. In the Barnett Shale which is similar to the Marcellus Shale where they've drilled 15 thousand wells, the only place in the state Breast Cancer rates went up," said Fox.
Hydro-fracking is a hot topic in our area with wells being drilled in nearby Pennsylvania and the process under discussion for New York. Several municipalities in the state have already banned it.
"They have recognized the importance of having this either banned or looked at so the the science can catch up with the technologies. Protecting our health, our environments, our waters is much to important," said Syracuse Common Councilor, Kathleen Joy.
But supporters of natural gas drilling say hydro-fracking can be done safely and lead to a boost in the economy. They add that movies like Gasland do more scaring than educating.
"It's a movie and movies are made to have a villain, have a good guy and unfortunately this movie puts the oil and gas industry as the villain and there are so many misstatements and falsehoods," said Geologist and Environmental Consultant, David Palmerton.
Palmerton points to public documents and websites for information. Sources that if you're willing to take the time to dig through can shed light on both points of view and leave you with the knowledge needed to make the right decision if the gas companies come knocking on your door. That's what led the film's director to his discoveries.
There is currently a moratorium on hydraulic-fracturing in New York State.