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Filmmaker Arrested at Capitol Hill Fracking Hearing

Filmmaker Arrested at Capitol Hill Fracking Hearing

Josh Fox, director of the documentary Gasland, was arrested and ejected from a Congressional hearing on fracking today after Republican Congress members objected to his filming the proceedings. Fox and his crew did not have press credentials, though he had requested permission to film prior to the hearing. Fox was released in the afternoon without having to pay a fine or post bail; his hearing is scheduled for 15 February. Fox told the New York Times, “We have followed this case for three years, and it seemed as if this hearing was an attack on the E.P.A. and we wanted to be there. We wanted this to be transparent to the American people. This is emblematic of what is happening across the world.”

The hearing had been called to investigate an EPA report about the possible effects of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on the well water near Pavilion, Wyoming. The hearing’s briefing paper described the report’s principal conclusion: “that ground water in the aquifer contains compounds likely associated with gas production practices, including hydraulic fracturing”. Opponents of the report’s conclusions have questioned the EPA’s survey methods and transparency, leading to today’s meeting.

In a statement on the website Truthout, Fox stated, “This was an act of civil disobedience — yes done in an impromptu fashion — but at the moment when they told me to turn off the cameras, I could not.  I know my rights and I felt it was imperative to exercise them.” He continued, “The truth that fracking contaminates groundwater is out, and no amount of intimidation tactics — either outright challenges to science or the arrest of journalists — will put the genie back in the bottle.” Fox is working on a sequel to Gasland.

At the hearing, EPA Region 8 Administrator James Martin defended the agency’s report, noting that their extensive sampling “indicates detection of benzene, methane, and synthetic chemicals, like glycols and alcohols consistent with gas production and hydraulic fracturing fluids.” These chemicals are known carcinogens.

2010′s Gasland was nominated for an Oscar and won a special jury prize for best US Documentary Feature. It describes fracking and its political and human health effects, and is credited with drawing increased public attention to the practice. Here is the film’s trailer:

Related Stories:

EPA Links Wyoming Water Pollution to Fracking

What’s With All this Fracking? Drilling May Endanger Drinking Water [VIDEO]

Natural Gas Fracking Threatens Drinking Water (Video)

 

 

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Image: Still of Josh Fox from trailer of Gasland, via YouTube

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112 comments

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3:12PM PDT on Sep 16, 2012

Thank you for article.

3:11PM PDT on Sep 16, 2012

Thank you for article.

8:33PM PDT on May 9, 2012

Time to speak up TOGETHER! WORLD CITIZENS PETITION OBAMA: SOLVE FUKUSHIMA - PLEASE SIGN - GO VIRAL!

President of the United States: Urgent Request for UN Intervention to Stabilize Fukushima Reactor Unit 4. http://change.org/petitions/the-president-of-the-united-states-urgent-request-on-un-intervention-to-stabilize-the-fukushima-reactor-unit-4

8:33PM PDT on May 9, 2012

Time to speak up TOGETHER! WORLD CITIZENS PETITION OBAMA: SOLVE FUKUSHIMA - PLEASE SIGN - GO VIRAL!

President of the United States: Urgent Request for UN Intervention to Stabilize Fukushima Reactor Unit 4. http://change.org/petitions/the-president-of-the-united-states-urgent-request-on-un-intervention-to-stabilize-the-fukushima-reactor-unit-4

7:50AM PDT on Apr 8, 2012

Everything hidden is being revealed. The highest form of morality is to use new information to maintain, enhance inner peace, and regain coherence with the world. THRIVE is an unconventional documentary that lifts the veil on what's REALLY going on. It follows money upstream - uncovering global consolidation of power in nearly every aspect of our lives. Weaving breakthroughs in science, consciousness and activism, THRIVE offers real solutions, empowering us with unprecedented and bold strategies for reclaiming our lives and our future. Movie at http://youtu.be/lEV5AFFcZ-s

8:33AM PDT on Mar 12, 2012

http://alternet.org/story/154459/fracking_democracy%3A_why_pennsylvania%27s_act_13_may_be_the_nation%27s_worst_corporate_giveaway_?akid=8391.1070645.XOHnz8&rd=1&t=2
I offered the following information as an opportunity to learn from one another.
YOUNGSTOWN OHIO EARTHQUAKES CAUSED BY BRINE INJECTION WELL MARCH 9 - ban fracking worldwide. http://youtu.be/KTcTa1N139A
http://gaslandthemovie.com/whats-fracking
http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/09/10625517-fracking-waste-led-to-earthquakes-ohio-says-in-adding-new-rules

4:32AM PST on Feb 13, 2012

all hearings should be public. people have the right to know what is going on as long as the facts are transparent as well.

4:00AM PST on Feb 9, 2012

Kudos and hats off to Josh! I hope he succeeds in the long run.

2:27PM PST on Feb 7, 2012

Freedom of the press is constitutionally protected and the public has the right to be informed by the press of what occurs in committee meetings of Congress. The chair's politically motivated behavior seems to warrant an ethics investigation.

4:49PM PST on Feb 6, 2012

I see from the poll that 2% of you believe that Josh Fox should have been arrested.

Ok, Diane Oh O and Mikey China, stop being mean...unless you mean it. You 1% wanta-be's, your always the life of the funeral.

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