‘Erin Brockovich’ writ large

Josh Fox standing in a stream that passes by his home in Pennsylvania. Source: HBO. After fracking began in Dimock, Pa., local livestock that drank water near gas mines began losing their hair. Fox took up the subject in the documentary 'Gasland' after his family was offered nearly $100,000 by a company for drilling rights on their land. From the Philadelphia Inquirer. Click here to read its review of 'Gasland.'

For Westerners, the connection between gas and water usually centers on Chromium VI, the chemical once used as a coolant by PG&E gas compressor plants and subsequently the Mojave Desert groundwater pollutant made famous by “Erin Brockovich.”

Yet a far greater, clear and present threat exists to a shared watershed extending from New York to West Virginia and throughout gas fields of the midwest and Texas. That is “hydrofracking,” the process in which chemically laced water  is used to fracture