'Dear President Obama' Award-Winning Journalist Explains 'Dangers of Fracking'

Category:  News
Wednesday, April 6th, 2016 at 10:14 PM
'Dear President Obama' Award-Winning Journalist Explains 'Dangers of Fracking' by Macala Leigey
The anti-fracking documentary was written by Jon Bowermaster and narrated by Mark Ruffalo.

Edinboro University hosted the northwestern Pennsylvania premiere of the fracking documentary “Dear President Obama, The Clean Energy Revolution is Now” on March 29, as part of the university’s annual Academic Festival.

The anti-fracking documentary was written and directed by six-time grantee of the National Geographic Expeditions Council and awardwinning journalist Jon Bowermaster, with narration by actor and environmental activist Mark Ruffalo. Bowermaster has produced more than 15 documentary films, and is known for his “Oceans 8” project, which involved a 10-year trek across the world via sea kayak.

Preceding “Dear President Obama,” Bowermaster directed “Dear Governor Brown” and “Dear Governor Cuomo,” documentaries focused specifically on hydraulic fracking in California and New York. “Dear Governor Cuomo” is accredited for persuading Cuomo’s final decision to ban fracking in New York.

“That movie [‘Dear Governor Cuomo’] became part of an effort to get fracking banned in New York, which ultimately was successful. So [I] got quite involved with the story at that time and thought we should take a look at this nationally. For the last three years or so [we] traveled the country, did 120 interviews and came up with this new film ‘Dear President Obama,’” Bowermaster said.

The near two hour documentary highlights the contamination fracking has caused, shares stories of drilling victims, and provides clean energy solutions for a future “anti-drilling” nation.

“If things don’t change fast, in terms of how much carbon we create by burning stuff, we’re gonna be in big trouble. The planet’s going to continue to heat up [and] we’ll have sea level rise,” he said.

Bowermaster continued, “I’d like people to realize there are lots of options out there to burning stuff to create energy. We need to move onto 21st century energy, which is renewables rather than finite stuff.”

Bowermaster also shared how local Edinboro community members and students can contribute to the anti-fracking movement. “

Here in Edinboro, like all college campuses, there’s lots that students can do. It starts with simple stuff, organizing educational efforts, have meetings, show these movies, participate in rallies, and also, vote, because it makes a huge difference who we have in office.”

Bowermaster continued, “I think all of this extreme energy extraction is us grasping for the last breath of fossil fuel. We should really commit ourselves to developing renewables, so when students at Edinboro now are in their 40s and 50s, we’re well on our way to a future supported completely by renewables.”

Following the screening, an audience discussion with Bowermaster was held. Many faculty members, students and community members voiced their opinions on the fracking issue.

“What happened with my family [was] a well like a mile away leaked when they sealed it. I think it should stop because we don’t know what happens; if it’s already leaked now what’s gonna happen in 10 years or 20 years,” audience member Sarah Everett said.

Edinboro’s northwestern premiere of “Dear President Obama” was the film’s 10th public screening since its March 18 world premiere at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C.

The documentary’s screening tour will continue across the country, with upcoming screenings in Chicago, San Francisco, Fort Worth, Denver and Los Angeles.

For more information on “Dear President Obama,” or about hydraulic fracking, visit dearpresidentobama.com.

Macala Leigey is the News Editor for The Spectator and she can be reached at eupnews.spectator@gmail.com

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