Today we have two videos that provide sobering food for thought. The two together run 37 minutes, and watching them will provide important perspective on how oil and gas drilling transforms the lives of rural communities.
The first video is one I posted a few months ago when the readership on this blog was much smaller, and it deserves a wider audience. It was created by The Dakota Resource Council (DRC) , and it describes the Bakken oil fields from the point of view of people whose lives have been affected.
The overwhelming mood of the video is sadness at loss of a way of life in western North Dakota. People look at the traffic, the crime, the loss of personal connection to their neighbors, and the environmental ruin of the place, and they recognize a fundamental truth: the lives they’ve built for themselves are gone forever. “You either work in the oil fields,’ says one lifelong resident, “or you leave.”
The second video, The Future of Shale, comes from Ireland’s award winning film-maker Dearbhla Glynn. This is the “before’ video — residents of rural Leitrim contemplate what the future will be if fracking comes to them. They see what is coming, they fear it, and they recognize what the impact will be. As one resident says lyrically, “It’s not to get rich that you come to this part of the country. It’s a different way of life. It’s peaceful and it’s quiet. And if this goes ahead, it’ll be finished forever.”
Residents of Carbon and Stillwater counties would do well to look at what has happened to their Dakota neighbors and what is to come for their rural Irish compatriots? Which story do you want to tell?
This is the time to stand up not only for your property, but for your community and your rural way of life.