The movie Gasland last year attempted to document the dangers of fracking in natural gas fields. The accusation is that the procedures opens up paths in rock for gas and fracking chemicals to contaminate drinking water, even through thousands of feet of impermeable rock. I don't know much about the topic, but I was suspicious the movie was yet another example of environmentalists opposing any sort of energy source.
The most memorable part of the film was when the move makers showed how tap water in one town, I suppose near some recent fracking activity, actually could be lit on fire due to the methane in it. Wow, this looked compelling. Somehow gas was getting in the water system -- must be the fracking, no?
Well, it turns out tap water in this area has had problems with methane since at least 1936, over a half century before fracking ever came into use. Reports from the 70's from state agencies discussed the problem.
Well, of course the director of the movie would be embarrassed and would look into it, right. Hah, just kidding. Just as Erin Brokovitch didn't want to hear about scientific studies disproving her so-called cancer clusters, the director actually knew about this history and ignored it. Specifically, he said the historic information about methane in the water was "not relevant."
Phelim McAleer has the whole story, including a video the Gasland director is working hard through legal channels to suppress.