The Handwerker Gallery is presenting a screening with discussion of the independent documentary The Price of Sand by Jim Tittle, 6:00 p.m., Thursday, September 12, 2013, as part of its "Marcellus Shale Documentary Project" exhibition.
The Price of Sand is a powerful film about the "frac sand" mining rampage in Wisconsin and Minnesota -- the demolition of bluffs and hills to extract silica sand, used as to prop open shale in the fracking process, making it easier to extract the small pockets of methane. Silica sand, a carcinogen, causes silicosis, an incurable and deadly disease, and can cause nerve and kidney damage as well as cancer.
Frac sand mining is an aspect of fracking we don't hear much about. It's been going on for only a couple years, but it's happening so fast the people of the Midwest haven't had time to catch their breath. The strip mining, processing, and transportation of this silica is making people sick and destroying landscapes, poisoning water, and polluting air. But the people of this area are not willing to let their properties and health be sacrificed. The film features some terrific music (Tittle held a song contest, and many of the best submissions made it into the film).
The film runs 58 minutes; a discussion with PCIM's Maura Stephens, who has researched and reported on fracking extensively, will follow.