Secret Files Expose Offshore’s Global Impact by Gerard Ryle, Marina Walker Guevara, Michael Hudson, Nicky Hager, Duncan Campbell and Stefan Candea for ICIJ A cache of 2.5 million files has cracked open the secrets of more than 120,000 offshore companies and trusts, exposing hidden dealings of [...]
Oil in California is nothing new — it’s the third highest oil-producing state in the U.S. (after Texas and North Dakota, which recently displaced Alaska for the No. 2 spot). The Monterey area has been drilled for years, profitably, though production has been steadily declining since its peak in the mid ’80s. However, as you’ve no doubt read in recent breathless media accounts, drilling technology has advanced. Two techniques have been combined: hydro-fracturing, whereby fluids (a mix of water, sand, and chemicals) are injected into drill holes to break open tight rock formations, allowing liquid fuels to seep out; and horizontal drilling, whereby drills can travel laterally from drill sites, sometimes miles, allowing a single drill site to cover vastly more area. This is the “fracking” you’ve heard so much about. It puts all kinds of previously inaccessible fossil fuels within reach, albeit expensively. (Oil seems stuck near $100 a barrel, though; with prices that high, all kinds of crazy schemes are economic.)
With high-profile activists like Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon taking a stand against fracking, the controversial drilling practice has been pulled from the periphery and placed in the public's main line-of-sight at a scale sparking movement from Hollywood. Promised Land, a film starring Matt Damon as a salesman for a natural gas company, hits theaters tonight, lending cinematic drama to the issue of fracking. While the large-scale exposure is valuable, Melissa Troutman, co-creator of another film on fracking, is careful to iterate an important fact, "Promised Land is a story, but this [Triple Divide] is a true story." Triple Divide, a documentary by Joshua Pribanic and Melissa Troutman of Public Herald, carefully investigates the effects of fracking in the Marcellus Shale Region of Pennsylvania from the ground up, focusing its lens on the true accounts of neighbors who have lost their water well to contamination from drilling, and farmers, like the ones in Promised Land, who have lost their land to pollution from a nearby well pad. In their first live interview about the film, journalists Joshua and Melissa discussed Triple Divide and the impact of fracking with Stefanie Spear, Founder and Editor of EcoWatch, a news service designed to promote and build a community of grassroots environmental activism. You can watch the full interview above or at EcoWatch.
For the first time in Greece, a documentary producer of the beholder. The DEBTOCRACY searches for the causes of the debt crisis and propose solutions that are hidden from the government and the mainstream media. The documentary will be distributed free by the end of March without usage rights and broadcast and subtitled in at least three languages.
There is still no clean water to bathe in, or to water the vegetables or to feed the animals. In November, he had a heart attack. His doctors tell him it was probably caused by stress. “I think a lot of people look at me and think what did I end up with after five years,” Meeks says. “I’m stupid for going up against a billion-dollar company.” “There is no end in sight,” he adds. “But at least they are listening now.”