The O. Zone

Video: Water on fire

By David O. Williams
Real AspenMay 22, 2011
A new music video called “My Water’s On Fire Tonight (The Fracking Song)” by David Holmes and journalism students at New York University’s Studio 20 is making the rounds after being posted on ProPublica.

The video was produced in conjunction with ProPublica’s more than three-year investigation into the common but controversial natural gas drilling procedure called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” It’s a process used in more than 90 percent of the natural gas wells in the nation, including extensively on Colorado’s Western Slope and Front Range.

The process and the controversy require a paragraph or two to explain in every story on the topic, forcing an almost cut-and-paste process that goes something like this: “Hydraulic fracturing is a natural gas drilling procedure that involves injecting mostly water and sand, but also some toxic chemicals, under very high pressure deep into gas wells in order to fracture tight geological formations and free up more gas. Critics are concerned that undisclosed chemicals are making their way into drinking water supplies closer to the surface. The oil and gas industry denies such allegations and says it must keep the chemicals secret for proprietary reasons.”

A mouthful of mumbo jumbo, right? This music video, while it comes with a clear slant on the topic, does a much better job of explaining the process.


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