A word about your weekend plans. You might want to check that movie schedule twice.
The Department of Homeland Security is watching. Closely.
By the end of the weekend, a number of you could be on the terrorist watchlist. I might already be there.
So what did I do?
I watched a movie. Twice.
Yup, the government's got my number for sure.
All because I watched Gasland. You might have too.
The documentary about natural gas drilling in America, and the fight to keep drilling companies from spewing noxious chemicals into the watershed that supplies the entire New York City population, debuted on HBO this summer to every household with an HBO subscription in America.
If you haven't seen it, you should. Not least because while it deals with efforts to protect my hometown and the very water my daughter drinks, it elucidates a national problem. Companies drilling for natural gas may help alleviate a dependence on foreign oil, but they're also exempt from the Clean Water Act thanks to some wrangling by former Vice President Dick Cheney.
All over the U.S.
Your kids could be stuck drinking the fluids they use to fracture layers deep under the ground to let loose the gas.
And it could make them sick. Just check out the effects in the photo above -- people actually able to light their tap water on fire because it's been contaminated.
No wonder the Department of Homeland Security doesn't want you watching it. According to a confidential Homeland Security intelligence bulletin found and published by Pro Publica, the department has labeled the anti-drilling contingent "environmental extremists" who pose a threat to national security and the energy sector.
Included on the list of people the Pennsylvania State Police are to watch out for? People who show up at public Gasland screenings to watch the film.
Phew. Maybe I'm in the clear. See, the last time I watched it, I was a few hundred feet from the Pennsylvania border -- on the New York side.
And it was such an extreme event that my 5-year-old daughter climbed on the playground with a few dozen other kids before the movie started. And stood waving her glow bracelets in the dark while the movie played. And ate some French fries (yes, FRENCH fries).
We got up once to go to the bathroom. That was extreme.
Oh, and I ran into an old friend from high school. Hadn't seen him in something like eight or nine years. We hugged. Exchanged numbers. Very extreme.
Homeland Security, maybe this will do it for you? I listened to a United States Congressman talk about legislation currently moving through Congress to make these gas companies tell the average American what those chemicals are in their fracturing (fracking) process so we can keep them out of their water.
Oooh, ooh, did that do it? Am I a threat for quietly listening to Congressman Maurice Hinchey say his piece? I may have cheered; can't quite recall. It was unseasonably cold that night and I had to pee (see above, trip to bathroom).
The government is alleging people who go to see this film are a danger to the energy sector. They may have just empowered more to see what they should be so upset about.
Don't worry if you're on the watchlist -- you'll be in good company.
Image via Gasland the Movie