Those watching "Gasland Part 2" at the Ohio County Public Library on Tuesday got to meet one of the individuals appearing in the documentary film, as former Pittsburgh city councilman Doug Shields came to Wheeling to oppose fracking.
"It is for us to decide - not someone in some state capitol or wherever," he told roughly 50 interested spectators taking in the film that depicts some of the potential negatives to the oil and natural gas industry.
"How does it affect my health and the health of my children," Shields urged audience members to consider in forming their viewpoints on fracking.
Following the film, Shields urged those in attendance to work to stop the GreenHunter Water frack water recycling plant from opening at North 28th Street in Warwood. The company wants to collect fracking waste at the plant before placing it onto Ohio River barges for shipping downstream, at which point it could be unloaded and taken to approved dumping sites.
"Putting something on a barge, putting it down the river, and it's forgotten - that's not going to happen," Shields said.
Although "Gasland" and "Gasland Part 2" filmmaker Josh Fox did not come to Wheeling to personally show his film, the film depicts him traveling to numerous areas of the U.S. to interview those impacted by the oil and natural gas industry. The sequel begins with clips showing President Barack Obama, President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney promoting an increased use of natural gas.
During the roughly two-hour film, Fox travels to Texas, Wyoming, Pennsylvania and Australia to showcase the potential pitfalls of fracking. He even depicts a drilling field located in Los Angeles, near the San Andreas Fault.
Fox interviews several former and sitting elected officials in the film, including Shields and former Democrat U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Cleveland.