Although mysterious graffiti artist Banksy’s film Exit Through the Gift Shop is receiving the majority of the PR hype in the Best Documentary category leading up to the Academy Awards telecast on Sunday, another doc is also making waves. Gasland, a low-budget documentary about the alleged dangers of natural-gas drilling, irked energy executives so much that they went so far as to mount an unsuccessful campaign to have it banned from Oscar consideration. The main problem concerns a process called hydraulic fracturing—known as “fracking”—where water and chemicals are injected into the ground to break open gas-bearing rocks. Environmental groups claim this process can contaminate drinking water supplies, while the gas industry denies such a claim. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the state's regulatory agency, said in a recent statement that tests provided "evidence that oil and gas activity did not contaminate" two of the water wells discussed in the film, but the regulator found drilling-related contamination in a third well featured in Gasland.
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