Watched: Jacquelyn Kingsley saw “Triple Divide”

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Making a Movie and Taking a Stand

by Jacquelyn Kingsley

fracking_definition_triple_divide1Triple Divide is a tremendously moving film. To hear landowners and farmers speak of having their land rights and human rights violated was powerful and upsetting. I appreciate their willingness to honestly describe what they’re going through. Their testimonies, along with the demonstration at the beginning of the film of how fracking representatives approach landowners, give audiences an idea of our collective vulnerability to the manipulations and deceptions of an uncaring and immoral industry. However, at the end of the film, one man’s clarion call reminds us that we can always develop our collective strength. I love the bold and inspiring declaration of the landowner who says he will not succumb without a fight. That’s what we all have to do to the extent that we are able: intelligently and peacefully resist.

I think it’s great that the film emphasizes the importance of high quality and exceptional streams and bodies of water that are being threatened by fracking operations and a lack of state protection. Perhaps the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) should be prosecuted for failing to punish industry/ company violations of the commonwealth laws in its state and endangering these vital water sources, aquifers, and thus the public health. Hopefully, residents will place more pressure on the DEP to execute its responsibilities in a more transparent and timely fashion. Triana Energy should refer to themselves not as “21st Century Explorers” but as 21st Century Colonizers. In fact, all of the natural gas companies depicted in the film could be labeled as 21st Century Colonizers as their profit-driven and short-term interests drive their destructive exploitation of already established communities.

All of the interviews conducted in Triple Divide offer useful insight and expertise, but one in particular comes to mind as it provides us with an alternative view of land. Dr. Andrew Kear, Professor of Political Science at BGSU, makes a good point that residents could possibly argue: the destruction of land by the industry also destroys other sustainable economic development opportunities for states, such as organic agricultural or recreational tourism. All forms of sustainable development deserve more attention and research because the long-term economic futility, as well as the environmental and public health threats of fracking, make the fracking industry a disposable option.

I am astounded by the lack of imagination, foresight and innovation of policymakers and state departments. It seems that they do not want to confront- but will ultimately be held responsible- for the severe environmental and public health consequences that will occur at the hands of fracking companies. Do short-term political gains, financial greed and self-interest all hold sway over long-term sustainable solutions? I’m quite young and don’t have all the answers myself, but I cannot believe that these “professionals” are willing to jeopardize so much without having properly researched the consequences and other possibilities. The exploitation of yet another finite resource is completely illogical especially when one considers the contamination that will occur with blowouts and at the deterioration of thousands of waste pits. I believe the human imagination holds more potential than this current display of idiocy and apathy towards future generations and our home planet.

Let’s hope that the positive potential of the human imagination triumphs over apathy.

The truths contained within Triple Divide will serve communities as a tool for spreading awareness and organization. It asks us all to trade in our apathy for a sense of responsibility- to our neighbors, our environment, and those who will inherit the community we leave behind.

Triple Divide

Jim Harkins, featured in Triple Divide, stands in his backyard where a neighbors drilling rig is 750ft away from his back porch. © Public Herald