Several local residents gathered at All Saints Cinema on Wednesday, for a screening of “Groundswell Rising, Protecting Our Children’s Air and Water.” The documentary’s mission is to spread awareness on Hydraulic Fracturing and health and environmental issues it can associated with the practice.
Groundswell Rising takes the viewer on a journey through the lives of people from various places around the world who are passionate about resisting, slowing down and eventually stopping Hydraulic Fracturing, also known as fracking.
Fracking is a process used throughout the United States, where millions of gallons of water, sand, and chemicals are pumped underground to break rock and release gas. This is an unproven form of gas extraction that can cause serious health and environmental issues in the near future.
“There is a great risk behind hydraulic fracturing that many are not aware of,” said State Representative Dwight Dudley.
Dudley continued to explain how this form of retrieving natural gas is very harmful to our communities.
“It is so sad to see the destruction in such a massive and complete way,” Dudley said. “The leaders in our government are dead asleep and these big operations are destroying our earth and contaminating our groundwater. If we continue to let this occur it is going to eventually hurt our children and families.”
Pennsylvania resident and activist, Craig Stevens stated that part of the documentary was filmed on his sixth — soon to be seventh — generation family farm home in Pennsylvania.
Stevens spoke about the history behind his family farm and how a company tried to install a pipeline on his property.
“I bought the family farm in 2010 after my dad got sick so that I could keep it in my family,” Stevens said. “I found a gas lease that had been signed by my grandmother who was 95-years-old living in a nursing home. The company convinced her to sign it even though she did not own the property. Later they tried to force their way across my property with a pipeline.”
“In this situation I was forced to pick a side,” said Stevens. “I picked a side of standing with my neighbors and not with the oil and gas industry. It is not about the money to me, it’s about keeping my family safe.”
Brian Lee, Leon County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor, said that he loved the movie and has seen it several times.
“I love the movie it’s terrific,” said Lee. It galvanized people and it has an excellent emotional side to it. After people view the movie, they really want to get involved in fighting fracking.”
For more information about fighting fracking, please visit rethinkflorida.org.