This 20-minute documentary from Journeyman Pictures, offers a concise look at the new bonanza that is fracking, creating a 21st Century version of the Gold Rush, complete with boom towns, exorbitant paychecks, and vanished unemployment while the rush is on.
The video also gives a fascinating look at some of the deeper geopolitical issues at play with fracking while devoting less attention to the environmental issues. The documentary provides some important context for understanding a critical issue certain to play an increasingly dominant role in U.S. and global politics.
Two notable participants are Rob de Wijk, chair of the Dutch National Security Think Tank and director of the The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, and René Peters, director of gas technology for TNO [the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research] and considered a leading European natural gas expert.
The New Shale Rush — USA
The program notes:
From the icy wastelands of North Dakota, an energy revolution is transforming global politics. Shale gas has made the US gas-independent, but at what cost to the environment, Europe and Middle-Eastern stability?
Williston is a boom-town in every sense of the word. By night the city shines brighter than New York, as flare-stacks burn off excess gas. By day it’s swamped with new arrivals, keen to join the new gold rush. “If I could get you driving a truck, you could probably make $100,000 dollars a year.” Economic developer Tom Rolf is proud to live in the only recession-proof town in the US. But as space becomes scarce tensions are bubbling to the surface. One local is distraught: “We shouldn’t have to suffer when the government is making trillions”. And the worries aren’t limited to local concerns. As the US begins freeing itself from dependency on Middle-Eastern oil Europe frets over where it will get its energy supplies in the future. European expert Rob de Wijk explains, “This is also about the safety of Europe in connection with what’s happening in the Middle East. We’re on our own now.”
A transcript is posted here.