Recently press reports about the movie Gasland have spotlighted the films central scene, where a man in Colorado lights his tap water on fire. The movie strongly suggests the cause is natural gas activity in the area. But according to documents obtained by the JLCand readily available to the publicstate regulators had already investigated the well and concluded the cause was biogenic (i.e. naturally occurring methane).
According to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commissions database of complaint investigation, a report filed by the state of Colorado found that when called to investigate a complaint from landowner Mark Markham, who is profiled in the film, the state found that there are no indications of oil and gas related impacts.
The report concludes that dissolved methane in well water appears to be biogenic in origin. These findings came out in the fall of 2008 and are publicly available. If the filmmaker was really trying to explore the issue, shouldnt he have been more upfront with the facts? This is an important part of the story that the filmmaker dismissed and instead chose to highlight misleading claims to draw attention to his film. This issue is critical to our community. Safety must always be first but decisions should be based on facts and science, not sensationalized accounts that are framed to frighten, rather than inform, the general public.
This entire feature about GASLAND was taken from the website of the Joint Landowners Coalition New York (JLCNY.org)
Please see that valuable website for more information on gas leasing and other natural gas issues.