Triple Divide is a tremendously moving film. To hear landowners and farmers speak of having their land rights and human rights violated was powerful and upsetting. I appreciate their willingness to honestly describe what they're going through. Their testimonies, along with the demonstration at the beginning of the film of how fracking representatives approach landowners, give audiences an idea of our collective vulnerability to the manipulations and deceptions of an uncaring and immoral industry. However, at the end of the film, one man's clarion call reminds us that we can always develop our collective strength. I love the bold and inspiring declaration of the landowner who says he will not succumb without a fight. That's what we all have to do to the extent that we are able: intelligently and peacefully resist. I think it's great that the film emphasizes the importance of high quality and exceptional streams and bodies of water that are being threatened by fracking operations and a lack of state protection. Perhaps the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) should be prosecuted for failing to punish industry/ company violations of the commonwealth laws in its state and endangering these vital water sources, aquifers, and thus the public health. Hopefully, residents will place more pressure on the DEP to execute its responsibilities in a more transparent and timely fashion. Triana Energy should refer to themselves not as "21st Century Explorers" but as 21st Century Colonizers. In fact, all of the natural gas companies depicted in the film could be labeled as 21st Century Colonizers as their profit-driven and short-term interests drive their destructive exploitation of already established communities.
I drove through Pennsylvania on the turnpike early Saturday. Past the billboards for “Affordable coal energy: Increasingly green and always red, white and blue” and “Wind dies, sun sets. You need reliable, affordable, clean coal electricity.” Past the giant wind turbines on the mountain ridge near Somerset. I picked up my brother in Pittsburgh, a frack-free zone, and headed for the western Pennsylvania premier of the film “Triple Divide” at the Butler Area Public Library. This part of the state is not frack-free. “Triple Divide” the documentary is impressive and disturbing storytelling about the free-for-all that is fracking in Pennsylvania. Triple divide the natural phenomenon sends the waters in fracked Potter County, Pa., into three North American watersheds. At this juncture, the Allegheny River heads west to the Ohio River and eventually to the Gulf of Mexico, the Genesee River finds its way north to Lake Ontario, and the west branch of the Susquehanna River winds southeast through Maryland and into the Chesapeake Bay. As filmmaker Melissa Troutman says in the movie’s narration, “For the triple divide, everything is downstream.” These rivers form the ecological foundation for life in the region, not to mention providing drinking water for millions in and beyond the region.
In the early spring of 2006, a nice man was in the area, promoting a chance to dream of better times for Bradford County and its farmers. There was promise of jobs for everyone and the farmer would generate money from signing a lease, and if a gas well was drilled on the farmer’s property he would become rich. Two years passed with little activity. By now, the older leases were about to expire, gas companies were beginning to drill, and excitement was in the air. Here, the majority of farmers signed early, receiving $5- $85/per acre. There was this belief that the person with the gas well would become the next “shaleionaires.” We later found out small acre properties started signing leases at $2,500/ per acre. By the spring of 2009, there was uneasiness among some of the farmers who had a gas well drilled on their property. The local newspaper was reporting contamination found in water wells, death occurring on a gas pad and the farmer was facing the fact that he could lose his farm due to a lawsuit based on the gas companies operation. For myself, I was thinking that our lucky neighbor was going to become the next Millionaire, because they had the gas well drilled on them. Soon my mind changed. Those farmers were facing penalties lodged against them, due to their land becoming industrial use instead of agricultural use.
Feds Link Water Contamination to Fracking for the First Time by Abrahm Lustgarten and Nick Kusnetz for ProPublica In a first, federal environment officials today scientifically linked underground water pollution with hydraulic fracturing, concluding that contaminants found in central Wyoming were likely […]
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