Here is my response to the recent Gas Industry attacks. I hope you can spread it around! I’d really appreciate it. Thanks!!!!
AN OPEN LETTER TO JOURNALISTS FROM GASLAND DIRECTOR JOSH FOX IN RESPONSE TO ATTACKS BY GAS INDUSTRY
February 7, 2011
With the recent Oscar nomination of my documentary film GASLAND, Big Gas and their PR attack machine hit a new low in its blatant disregard for the truth.
In an unprecedented move, an oil and gas industry front group sent a letter to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences saying that the film should be ineligible for best documentary feature.
We are honored and encouraged by the Academy’s nomination. It is terrific to be acknowledged as filmmakers by the film world’s most prestigious honor. But perhaps more than that, I believe that the nomination has provided hope, inspiration and affirmation for the thousands of families out there who are suffering because of the natural gas drilling. The Oscars are about dreams, and I know that for all of us living with the nightmare of gas drilling the nomination provides further proof that someone out there cares.
Now Big Gas wants to take that away, as they have shattered the American dream for so many.
GASLAND exposes the disaster being caused across the U.S. by the largest domestic natural gas drilling campaign history and how the contentious Halliburton-developed drilling technology called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking threatens the water supply of millions.
Fracking is a whole-scale industrialization process that pumps millions of gallons of toxic material directly into the ground. Thousands of documented contamination cases show the harmful chemicals used have been turning up in people’s water supplies in fracking areas all over the map.
We stand behind the testimonials, facts, science and investigative journalism in the film 100 percent. We have issued a point-by-point rebuttal of the group’s claims (“Affirming Gasland”), posted on our website: www.gaslandthemovie.com.
It’s not just us they’re after. The gas industry goes after anyone who tries to punch a hole in their lie. Last week the same pro-drilling group, Energy in Depth (EID), attacked an investigative piece on drilling pollution by ProPublica, the highly credible public interest journalism organization.
And just last week, T. Boone Pickens, the most visible promoter of gas fracking, went on The Daily Show claiming that he personally has fracked over 3,000 wells and never witnessed any contamination cases, even when Jon Stewart asked him about GASLAND point blank. He simply stated over and over again the industry lie, that fracking is safe. Not a single word of acknowledgement, or responsibility for the claims of thousands and the threat posed to millions.
The gas industry believes it can create a new reality in which their nationwide onshore drilling campaign isn’t a disaster. But no amount of PR money or slick ads can keep the stories of contamination coming from thousands of Americans from being any less true.
On Monday, Congressional investigators called out frackers for pumping millions of gallons of diesel fuel directly into the ground, exposing drinking water sources to benzene and other carcinogens. This makes EID’s specious and misleading attack on the science and data in GASLAND especially ironic since Halliburton stonewalled Congressman Henry Waxman’s investigation into fracking, refusing to provide data on their use of diesel and other harmful chemicals injected in the fracking process.
There are major watershed areas providing water to millions of Americans that are at risk here, including the watershed areas for New York City and Philadelphia. The catastrophe has been widely covered not only in GASLAND, but also by hundreds of news stories, films and TV segments. This is a moment of crisis that cannot be understated.
Even before its release, the power of the film was not lost on the industry. In the March 24th edition of the Oil and Gas Journal, Skip Horvath, the president of the Natural Gas Supply Association said that GASLAND is “well done. It holds people’s attention. And it could block our industry.”
GASLAND was seen by millions and I personally toured with the film to over 100 cities. In affected areas, people came to the screenings with their contaminated water samples in tow. They came to have the truth they know shared and confirmed
As Maurice D. Hinchey, U.S. Representative (NY-22) recently said, “Thanks to GASLAND and the millions of grassroots activists across the country, we finally have a counterweight to the influence of the oil and gas industry in our nation’s capital.”
Big Gas is blocking the truth in their pursuit of hundreds of billions of dollars of profit. Their clear goal is to ensure our nation remains addicted to fossil fuels for the rest of this century. They seek to stifle the development of truly renewable energy.
They’re playing dirty in more ways than one, attacking the film and the testimonials and science in it instead of taking responsibility and addressing the contamination, destruction and harm that they are creating. I now know how the people in my documentary feel, to have the things they know to be true and the questions they are raising so blatantly discounted and smeared. It is truly unfortunate that the gas-drilling industry continues to deny what is so obvious to Americans living in gaslands across the nation.
Media Contact: Josh Baran – [email protected] – 917-797-1799
Josh Fox is based in New York City and will be in Washington, D.C. on February 17.
He is available for interviews.
DVD screeners for the media are available.
Gasland – a film by LennonOno Grant For Peace 2010 winner Josh Fox.
Can you set your water on fire?
It is happening all across America and now in Europe and Africa as well – rural landowners wake up one day to find a lucrative offer from a multinational energy conglomerate wanting to lease their property. The Reason? In America, the company hopes to tap into a huge natural gas reservoir dubbed the Saudi Arabia of natural gas. Halliburton developed a way to get the gas out of the ground—a hydraulic drilling process called fracking—and suddenly America finds itself on the precipice of becoming an energy superpower.
But what comes out of the ground with that natural gas? How does it affect our air and drinking water? GASLAND is a powerful personal documentary that confronts these questions with spirit, strength, and a sense of humor.
When filmmaker Josh Fox receives his cash offer in the mail, he travels across 32 states to meet other rural residents on the front lines of fracking. He discovers toxic streams, ruined aquifers, dying livestock, brutal illnesses, and kitchen sinks that burst into flame. He learns that all water is connected and perhaps some things are more valuable than money.
A recently drilled nearby Pennsylvania town reports that residents are able to light their drinking water on fire. This is just one of the many absurd and astonishing revelations of a new country called GASLAND. Part verite travelogue, part expose, part mystery, part bluegrass banjo meltdown, part showdown.”
GASLAND will be broadcast on HBO through 2012.
To see a list of current screenings click here.
To host a public screening in your community please click here.
The DVD is on sale from December 2010 and can now be preordered from Amazon here.
Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize
Sarasota International Film Festival Special Jury Prize
Yale Environmental Film Festival Grand Jury Prize
Big Sky Film Festival Artistic Vision Award
Thin Line Film Festival Audience Award
LA Film Festival
Sydney Film Festival
Telluride Mountain film festival
TRUE/FALSE Film Festival
Washington D.C. Environmental Film Festival
PHILADELPHIA Film Festival
HOT DOCS International Film Festival
Rooftop Film Festival
Durban International Film Festival
“…one of the most effective and expressive environmental films of recent years.” – Variety
“On the want-to-see- scale, GASLAND tops the list” – Washington Post
“Riveting” – LA Weekly
“GASLAND just might be the best film of the year.” – The Huffington Post
“Over the past 8 days I was lucky enough to view 40 films…The most important film I saw was the documentary GASLAND…This examination of air quality and more specifically drinking water under attack from NYC to Ft. Worth was very eye opening.” – USA TODAY
GASLAND is “well done. It holds people’s attention. And it could block our industry.” – Oil and Gas Journal President of the Natural Gas Supply Association
“VOLCANIC…With humor and inquisitiveness, Fox has delivered 2010’s most alarming wake-up call.” – Hammer To Nail
“When something emerges like Josh Fox’s GASLAND, a work of art which also happens to educate quite effectively…this is why festivals, even the big ones, are capable of surprises, because wonderful things do seep through the cracks. Precisely because it was purely personal…and that it was as concerned with aesthetic matters as issues, GASLAND may also be some ideal of that cherished sub-genre in many festival circles, the environmental film, which tends to leave art behind for the topic it’s addressing.” – Cinemascope
Josh Fox is one of the 4 joint winners of the LennonOno Grant For Peace 2010.
GASLAND DVD PRE-ORDER AVAILABLE NOW
We’re thrilled to announce that the Gasland DVD, which will be released on December 14th by New Video, is available for pre-sale NOW on Amazon! Click here to order your Gasland DVD and have it delivered to your door in December (just in time for the holidays!).
OVER 45 MINUTES OF BONUS MATERIAL
We can’t wait for you to see all of the new faces and stories we’ve been able to include on the DVD in the more than 45 minutes of bonus material. The nine bonus scenes take you on a cross-country journey which reveals the strength and perseverance of Americans whose water and health are being threatened by natural gas extraction.
GASLAND CAN HELP YOU RAISE MONEY FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION
If you’re part of an environmental organization, and want to sell the Gasland DVD on your website, you can sign up (for free!) for New Video’s Affiliate Program. Your group will get a unique link for your website that directs to the pre-order page on newvideo.com and you’ll receive a 10% referral fee for any purchase made through that link. We can also offer special discounts for bulk purchases of more than 10 copies at up to 50% off the normal price. Please contact Marcelle if you’re interested in a bulk purchase.
GRASSROOTS SCREENINGS STILL ROLLING!
Thanks to all of you out there who continue to speak up for your communities and commit yourselves to educating others about drilling. From our 200+ community screenings and theater openings around the USA, it is so clear that to us that the movement is hundreds of thousands strong and continues to grow. In Williamsport PA, 1600 people showed up for GASLAND in one night! In NYC, United For Action and NY H2O mobilized the 2000+ audience who showed up to the film to support a continued NY moratorium. In Texas, GASLAND screenings launched campaigns for stopping drilling in Dallas and was shown at the state Capitol in Austin, In Lake Como, TX, a community used their collective voices to protest gas drilling, leading Chesapeake Energy to withdraw its proposal to drill in that neighborhood. Too many stories to recount– all over the country, your voices are being heard!! Please keep up the incredibly important efforts you are making.
Let’s continue to work on protecting our water and air!
Our very best,
Josh, Trish & Ellen