The High Cost of Cheap Gas

from Multimedia Library Collection:
Environmental Film Profiles (videos)

Barbee, Jeffrey, and Mira Dutschke.The High Cost of Cheap Gas. Basalt, Colorado: Alliance Earth Films, 2014. HD, 56 min.

The environmental problems caused by fracking in America have been well publicized, but less known are the gas industry’s plans for expansion in other countries. This investigation, filmed in Botswana, South Africa, and North America, reveals how fracking plants are quietly invading some of the most protected places on the planet—including Africa’s national parks. Deep in the Kalahari Desert, fracking operations take place across the migration routes of Africa’s largest elephant population—threatening elephants’ survival. Plans to allow fracking in the Karoo in South Africa, a region of natural beauty, have been condemned. Water is extremely scarce and people are concerned about an industry that sucks up and potentially pollutes the little available water. Speaking to experts, campaigners and affected communities, we discover the real cost of this “cheap” gas. (Adapted from Java Films)

© 2014 Java Films. Trailer used with permission.

This film is available at the Rachel Carson Center Library (RCC, 4th floor, Leopoldstrasse 11a, 80802 Munich) for on-site viewing only. For more information, please contact

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Further readings: 
  • Davis, Charles. "The Politics of 'Fracking': Regulating Natural Gas Drilling Practices in Colorado and Texas." Review of Policy Research 29, no. 2 (2012):177–91.
  • Engelder, Terry, et al. "Natural Gas: Should Fracking Stop?" Nature 477 (2011): 271–5.
  • Powers, Emily C. "Fracking and Federalism: Support for an Adaptive Approach That Avoids the Tragedy of the Regulatory Commons." Journal of Law & Policy 19, no. 2 (2011): 913-33.