Matt Damon stars as Steve Butler, a corporate salesman who tries to pitch the sale of natural gas production on a town hit hard by economic decline. What seemed like an easy sales pitch, promising to boost the town’s revenue even before the drilling started, became a hard sell once environmental activist Dustin Noble, played by John Krasinski, arrives and becomes the voice of those opposed to hydraulic fracking in their backyards. This move, directed by Gus Van Sant, demonstrates the overall issues involved in rural towns across the US, which are affected by the energy industry. The process of hydraulic fracking has made a great bang among rural communities; fracking makes it possible to tap into natural gas reservoirs deep underground, but what dangers lie ahead?
In July 2012, IQ2US traveled to Aspen Ideas Festival and hosted the debate “No Fracking Way: The Natural Gas Boom Is Doing More Harm Than Good.” The live audience voted FOR the motion finding that fracking is doing more harm than good:
Exploring both sides of fracking, our debaters discussed the natural energy boom and its effects. Debating for the motion was Deborah Goldberg, Managing Attorney at Earth Justice and Katherine Hudson, Watershed Program Director at Riverkeeper. Our debaters for the motion cited the toxic repercussions of fracking—such as polluted water and dying animals. Debating against the motion was Joe Nocera, Op-Ed Columnist, The New York Times and Sue Tierney, Managing Principal at Analysis Group. Our debaters against the motion proposed that fracking is a route to energy independence and a source of job growth. Watch the panel in action with the video below:
Full Video "No Fracking Way: The Natural Gas Boom Is Doing More Harm Than Good"
Joe Nocera: Fracking Is A Tremendous Gift
Deborah Goldberg: Fracking Feeds Fossil Fuel Addiction
Or listen to the debate edited for NPR or download the podcast here.
Also available is our extensive research library with positions from the panelists, articles and publications about the debate.
Where do you stand today? Do you think Fracking Does More Harm Than Good? Cast your vote here.