In 2009, filmmaker Josh Fox learned his home in the Delaware River Basin was on top of the Marcellus Shale, a rock formation containing natural gas that stretches across New York, Pennsylvania and huge stretches of the Northeast. He was offered $100,000 to lease his land for a new method of drilling developed by Halliburton and soon discovered this was only a part of a 34-state drilling campaign, the largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history. Part mystery, part travelogue, and part banjo showdown, “Gasland” documents Josh’s cross-country odyssey to find out if the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – is actually safe.
As he interviews people who live on or around current fracking sites, Josh learns of things gone horribly wrong, from illness to hair loss to flammable water, and his inquiries lead him ever deeper into a web of secrets, lies, conspiracy, and contamination – a web that potentially stretches to threaten the New York Watershed. Unearthing a shocking story about a practice that is understudied and inadequately regulated, Gasland races to find answers about fracking before it’s far too late.