Cross-Country Tour Of Fracking Investigation To Use Zero Gasoline
Investigative News Team Screening 'Triple Divide' Across U.S.
What do fracking and the car of the future have in common? Residents of the Tar Heel State have the chance to find out at several screenings of Triple Divide, a documentary about fracking in the Marcellus Shale, across North Carolina this month.
Triple Divide is an 18-month investigation by independent journalists Joshua Pribanic and Melissa Troutman, who also co-founded the nonprofit Public Herald based in Pennsylvania.
"Triple Divide is about how water and energy connect us all," said Troutman.
"It's a great time for Western North Carolina residents to learn about the impacts of fracking in other parts of the eastern U.S.," said Katie Hicks, Assistant Director of Clean Water for North Carolina, a co-sponsor of the screening in Asheville. "The NC General Assembly just lifted the moratorium on permits for drillers in our state, so permitting could begin as soon as the NC rules are finalized, and hearings on those rules are coming up in August. Plus, the state has budgeted money to test parts of nine counties in Western North Carolina for shale gas potential, so there's a chance folks in the mountains could be directly impacted."
"Having the filmmakers here in Asheville is a great opportunity to enhance our community's dialogue about the risks of fracking in our state," added Anna Jane Joyner, Campaign Coordinator at the Western North Carolina Alliance, also a co-sponsor.
An investigation of impacts from fracking in Pennsylvania, Triple Divide has been called "a bombshell that could reverberate across the state." It will tour across the country June thru November thanks to a grant from the Investigative News Network with support from the Knight Foundation.
The team will cover over 10,000 miles in a Tesla Motors Model S, a long-range, all-electric sedan, and use the company's nationwide Supercharger system where the electric cars can be quickly recharged for free. The directors aim to cross the U.S. using zero gasoline and emitting zero greenhouse gas pollution.
It screens July 30th, 7:00 PM at Mad Batter in Sylva, and July 31st, 7:00 PM at Fine Arts Theatre in downtown Asheville, hosted by Clean Water for North Carolina and Western North Carolina Alliance.
According to Pribanic and Troutman, who also co-founded the investigative news nonprofit Public Herald, Triple Divide reveals how one state's 'world-class regulations' fail to protect people, communities, and the environment.
"The public isn't seeing the full scale of impacts from fracking either because regulators are mismanaging the data or decisions are made based on politics instead of science," says Pribanic. "The impacts we encountered in Triple Divide are systemic, but we can learn from these experiences so that the stories of those interviewed are not in vain."
The journalists aim to bring together people on any side of the issue to discuss solutions, such as the #Fileroom project which Public Herald began to help the public track human and environmental health complaints by digitizing and mapping hard-to-get government oil and gas files.
"Pennsylvania has some of the best environmental laws in the country, but they aren't being enforced," says Troutman. "And major problems like the 'Pressure Bulb' effect from fracking, which we cover in Triple Divide, aren't a part of state or federal regulations at all."
Academy Award-nominated actor Mark Ruffalo co-narrates the documentary and added his voice to the project after seeing the film just weeks before its release. Ruffalo's nonprofit, Water Defense, also investigates water testing and protection measures, and he is a co-founder of The Solutions Project.
Public Herald also seeks solutions to increase its sustainability, which is why the team chose Tesla Motors for its transportation. "Imagine crossing the country without using a single drop of gasoline," said Troutman. "Tesla's model may be a way to lessen the impact of fossil fuels on society and the climate. We'll share our review of the experience online, and those who attend screenings will get to check out the car in person."
Triple Divide's namesake, the triple continental divide in Pennsylvania, is one of four highly unique watersheds in North America. It's where three major rivers begin and flow to separate ends of the continent, providing drinking water for millions of people and hundreds of communities downstream.
The filmmakers have screenings in West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, California, Montana, and Michigan with stops in between. For a detailed list of screening times and locations, visit http://tripledividefilm.org/screenings. For video clips see TripleDivideFilm.org. Also follow @PublicHerald and #TripleDivide.
Fine Arts Theatre Asheville (View)
36 Biltmore Ave.
Asheville, NC 28801
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