Question

Why is nothing simple? You try to determine if a restaurant is good or bad, so you read the consumer reviews. How can one reviewer give it a single star and complain they would not feed the food to their dog, while another gives it 5 stars for being the best restaurant ever? Who do you believe?

It is clear that fracking has transformed the natural gas industry. Not so long ago, we were considering importing natural gas and now we are considering exporting it because of our abundant supply. This has helped make us more energy independent and has kept down energy costs. However, there are also some controversies regarding this method of extracting natural gas from shale. We are learning more about the potential hazards to human health and the environment as a result of this technology.

Watch the two videos from the two different perspectives - Josh Fox Gasland Interview and Truthland Debunked. Pay attention to the primary arguments for and against fracking.

Based on what you learned from the videos (and any other research you would like to do), respond to the questions listed below. BE SPECIFIC so that we know you watched the videos and read the articles and learned something.

Discuss the main issues or concerns with fracking brought up in the "first perspective" video? Be specific.
Were there other controversies or issues with fracking brought up in the "second perspective" video? Summarize these with some specifics.
Note and comment on the primary support individual, group, or organization behind each of the two videos (ie., who was responsible for making the videos)? In other words, note what kind of biases there might be for each video.
The term "common good" is often used in these difficult-to-resolve situations. Common good means that there is benefit to all people in society or in a group. In other words, in spite of our differences, we should all work for the common good--in this case as it relates to responsible energy development. Discuss this phrase "common good" as it relates to both developing natural gas reserves and meeting the needs of the public.
What are your views on whether the public, a community, or an individual has a right to refuse or vote against a technology that may cause harm? If fracking was proposed in your neighborhood, what information would you request in order to decide if you were for or against the proposal? Be specific.

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Discuss the main issues or concerns with fracking brought up in the "first perspective" video? Be specific.

One of the main issues brought up in the first video is that, due to relatively new legislation called the “Halliburton loophole”, natural gas drilling companies are basically exempt from all of the laws designed to protect our environment such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Superfund, etc. Natural Gas companies are able to inject a proprietary mix of hazardous chemicals underground that can not be well studied to determine its effects because we do not know what is in it. The video also showcased specific examples where air and water contamination related to hydrofracking has already been a problem, and how industrialized areas become due to extensive gas drilling. For example, emissions from numerous gas wells around Forth Worth, Texas are quoted as being worse than the total of all the passenger vehicle emissions for the area. A stream in Pennsylvania was shown where all of the fish had died from water contamination....

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