Wednesday, May 30, 2012

As Don't Frack Ohio's Big Day Nears, EID Also Sends a Message to Ohioans

Josh Fox, Mark Ruffalo, and other fracktivists are preparing to converge on Ohio in an attempt to stop fracking in the state.  They invite others who share their fears over fracking to join them in their protest:
Dear friends–The fracking industry has been causing earthquakes in Ohio. So it’s time we caused one of our own. 
No, not a 4.0-on-the-Richter-scale temblor like the one that shook Youngstown on New Year’s Eve. Instead, we need to aim for an 8.0 on the political scale–we need to shake Columbus with the biggest anti-fracking gathering yet seen in the U.S.Save these dates: June 14-17, in Columbus. 
The 14-16th will be dedicated to training and movement building, and on the 17th we’ll be taking over the Ohio statehouse for a people’s assembly that will ‘pass’ legislation that Ohioans need to stop this destructive practice. You can sign up here, but we need you to do more–please spread the word to friends and colleagues. And get ready for the caravan that will cross the state in mid-May to raise awareness – we’ll have much more on that front soon.
Read the rest of their "call to action" here.

In response, Energy in Depth has something to say about Josh Fox in particular taking such an interest in Ohio, as he has other states where fracking has taken place, and what kind of effect his activist activities have had on his career and finances.
Western Pennsylvania/eastern Ohio has always been a blue collar region. A region I’m proud to call home. Born from the toil of its tempered inhabitants are the steel industry, which built our cities… the coal industry, which for decades has kept the lights on for millions of Americans… and the oil and gas industry, which perhaps more than anything else is responsible for the comfortable standard of living that society enjoys today. It’s a region that’s not afraid to roll up its sleeves and get to work. A region that has little use for excuses, and much use for rolling up sleeves and getting the job done. Mother Nature provides us what we need to survive, but has little sympathy for those who refuse to help themselves. 
When the Marcellus Shale came to town, it was greeted with open arms. An outpatient, non-invasive alternative to the neck to navel open heart surgery that is the coal mining that we’ve long since become accustomed to. Five to eight acres of surface disturbance can drain 1,200 acres of gas, as opposed to 1,200 acres of disturbance to reach 1,200 acres of coal via surface mining. This Marcellus gas burns much cleaner than coal, and places where coal couldn’t burn…in cars, trucks, and buses. It was cheap, it was clean, and it was ours – and in such abundance that the decades old dream of energy independence and the shackles it shed were no longer a dream, but an inevitability. 
But you don’t just discover you’re sitting on the second largest energy field in the world without garnering some attention. And in today’s world, attention is a marketable commodity. Enter Josh Fox. Fox, an unknown theater director from New York City, with no knowledge whatsoever of the natural gas industry, saw an opportunity to spin Marcellus mania to his gain. In the information vacuum that existed in the first years of development, Fox jumped in head first. Facts and truth meant little, while sensationalism and outright fabrication ruled the day in the early stages of Marcellus development. 
Fox’s home spun “documentary” was just that: sensationalism and outright fabrication. He peddled his wares and found a buyer. The Park Foundation, a huge endowment which has spent millions to try to ban hydraulic fracturing, has subsidized him beyond his wildest dreams. HBO coughed up a sweet $750,000 to Fox for Gasland 2. Fox even charges $7,500 to college kids to show up and speak at their school (not counting first class airfare to and from New York City). Fox went from unknown starving artist to a big bankroll celebrity activist almost overnight, and why quit a gig that pays like that, right?
Read the rest of that article here.

So, what do you think?  Why does Josh Fox care about protesting fracking in Ohio - because he loves the people who live here so much, or because keeping out at the forefront of the fracking debate is the best way to keep his checks rolling in?

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