Director Josh Fox and Working Families Party Team Up to Fight Against Hydrofracking
May 13, 2011
By Abby Mitchell
“Don’t drink this water” is the message of director Josh Fox’s Oscar winning documentary, “Gasland.”
In the movie Fox, a self declared “natural gas drilling detective,” explores hydraulic fracturing, a controversial process of drilling and breaking rock formations to access oil and gas reserves.
The documentary shows people across the country lighting their faucet water on fire and holding jars of brown drinking water, raising questions about the impact of the process, commonly known as hydrofracking on water contamination and public health.
“The people’s voice, with evidence of thousands of contamination cases is the smallest and the quietest and the least paid attention to in Washington,” said Fox during a recent forum at Columbia University. “We are still very much in jeopardy.”
Currently there is a moratorium here in New York State that prevents any hydrofracking, pending review by state and federal agencies. The New York City watershed is located on top of Marcellus Shale, a rock formation in upstate New York that gas companies hope to use for the process.
“I’m assuming you drink water, take showers, eat pizza,” Fox told the students. “That depends on New York’s clean water.”
Some local officials and environmental groups in the city have echoed Fox’s concerns.
“If they allow this drilling in the Marcellus Shale, many people in this state can and will get ill,” said Ellen Durant of United for Action, a grassroots anti fracking organization.
Fox added that the Working Families Party sent out an e-mail Friday to all of their members that stated they are working to get hydrofracking permanently banned in New York.
While organizers said that members of the gas and oil companies were invited to the discussion, none attended. Calls from LaborPress seeking comment for this story were not immediately returned.