In just the last couple of years, environmental agencies, foundations, bloggers, and filmmakers have thrust the natural gas extraction method of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, into the public’s consciousness. Arguing that fracking poses serious environmental concerns such as water contamination, flammable water (scientifically linked now), methane emissions, and even earthquakes (linked by U.S. Army and U.S. Geological Society, as well), activists hope to raise awareness about the dangers of fracking. On the other side of the debate are those who argue for the value of fracking. Not only can extensive natural gas reserves be accessed through this process, but also the extracted gas burns cleaner than coal.
This heated debate over fracking will continue to consume national media pages into the future; however, the SnagFilms documentary Battle For Wetzel County, examines the issue on a more localized level. Following the lives of rural West Virginians, National Geographic reporter Roshini Thinakaran brings to light the struggles locals face as a result of a recent boom in fracking activity. From polluted creeks to property disputes, Battle for Wetzel County gives its viewers a brief yet striking glimpse of the transformation currently taking place in Wetzel County, West Virginia.
The film may be watched here for free, at snagfilms.com, or embedded into websites, blogs, and social media outlets.
Gregory Miller-Richter von Ostein
It troubles me deeply that the folks of Wetzel County West Virginia are struggling with Corporate America. I do so want to visit the area because I am a descendent of the Wetzel Family. My mother was a Wetzel. Our Family was always honored that the people of that county named it after our rather infamous Uncle Lewis Wetzel -sometimes known as the” Dark Hero of the Ohio [river]”. He was known for being fearless because some native Americans killed members of the family. Though many things can be said about him–there is one thing in the Wetzel line that carries on today. Determination to the end to seek justice. I am known to be fighter myself–but with the internet not a musket. I have a few ideas that may disrupt the corporate hold of that situation in Wetzel County, but I refuse to discuss it by phone or email because I have no idea who is on the other end. I would be pleased to offer my ideas to the real landowners of Wetzel County if I could just make contact with verifiable landowners. Gregory Miller von Richter