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Powerful Photos Go Deep Inside America's Fracking Boom | Raw File |

Powerful Photos Go Deep Inside America's Fracking Boom | Raw File | | Natural gas |
Fracking is one of the most contentious energy issues in America, pitting the promise of cheap fossil fuels and good jobs against environmental concerns in an often acrimonious debate. Six photographers banded together to bring a nuanced look to the issue through the eyes of those directly impacted by it. The Marcellus Shale Documentary Project began in fall of 2011 and became collaborative effort by photographers Noah Addis, Nina Berman, Brian Cohen, Scott Goldsmith, Lynn Johnson and Martha Rial. The project is named for the Marcellus Formation, which stretches hundreds of miles from West Virginia through Pennsylvania into New York. The formation, deep beneath the Appalachians, holds stratified shale deposits rich in natural gas. But only recently has horizontal drilling and hydraulic-fracturing made extracting it feasible. A story as large as fracking and its impact on Appalachia demanded a large team of photographers. Each photographer brings their own perspective, and serves as a sounding board for the others. “Part of the shape of the project was this idea that it was genuinely collaborative,” says Cohen. “It wasn’t just a bunch of photographers who happened to be covering the same thing. It wasn’t that we carved up the visual landscape in a specific way, but in meeting together we each knew what the other one was doing, how they were approaching a particular subject, where we overlapped and where we diverged.” Tapping the Marcellus has altered the landscape, a change the photographers strove to painstakingly document, from the towering rigs and miles of pipeline to life in the communities impacted by it all. Each photographer brought a unique perspective. Berman, for example, focused on people living in the small towns of central and eastern Pennsylvania. It required making 40 trips around the region and photographing 10 families to assemble the visual narrative of life in places like Bradford County, which has one of the highest concentrations of fracking operations in Pennsylvania. Berman found people living off water trucked in by the energy companies to replace the wells people have long relied upon. Click headline to read more--
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