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Friday, July 12, 2013

Josh Fox Makes Another Appearance

From Democracy Now:
Scientists are warning that the controversial practice of natural gas hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, may lead to far more powerful earthquakes than previously thought. Fracking injects millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals deep into the earth in order to break up shale rock and release natural gas. A new study published Thursday in the journal Science by a leading seismology lab warns that pumping water underground can induce dangerous earthquakes, even in regions not otherwise prone to tremors. The new report comes as Academy Award-nominated director Josh Fox has released the sequel to his highly acclaimed documentary "Gasland," which sparked a national discussion on fracking. The new film, "Gasland Part II," exposes how the gas industry and the government’s portrayal of natural gas as a clean and safe alternative to oil is highly suspect. He also discusses how drilling companies have admitted to having several former military psychological operations, or PSYOPs, specialists on staff, applying their skills in Pennsylvania to counter opponents of drilling. "What’s really disappointing about this is that this is a moment when an American president has come forward and spoken about climate change and exhibited his obvious and earnest desire to take on the problem; however, the emphasis on fracked gas makes this plan entirely the wrong plan," says Fox, noting that methane released from fracking sites is more potent than other greenhouse gases. "Moving from coal to fracked gas doesn’t give you any climate benefit at all. So the plan should be about how we’re moving off of fossil fuels and onto alternate energy."
With a lead-in like that, you can probably tell that you shouldn't expect any hardball questions or real cross examination of any of the claims Fox makes in the interview or his new movie.  Click here to read the transcript.  Watch the interview below.

Meanwhile, the Natural Gas Now blog looks at an aspect of Gasland Part II which hasn't been given as much attention in the many articles that have questioned its honesty in portraying the reality of gas drilling.
Once again, as in Gasland, Gasland Part II features the former Mayor of DISH, Texas (population of 201, about the same size as my extended family) whose adopted children were alleged inflicted with nosebleeds due to “something in the air.” The Gasland Part II scene shows Mayor Calvin Tillman in his car overlooking the homestead he said was too dangerous for his own family to live in, forcing him to move. So what happened to the home?  Well, he sold it it to another individual… shouldn’t he have… wouldn’t he have condemned the property if it was too dangerous to live on?  No such questions are ever posed, of course.
Calvin made a big deal about forcing the new buyer to watch Gasland before he’d sell to them, and if you read the news reports they implied he made a big sacrifice to move his family.  He didn’t.
I did a little checking of my own at the Denton County Appraisal District’s on-line site and found he sold the property for $190,000 in 2011 in the trough of the real estate recession after purchasing the property for $175,636 in 2005 when the market was still appreciating nationwide.  He then turned around and purchased a foreclosed property in a nearby town for $125,000, one of the few in the neighborhood with a pool, that had sold for $169,900 in 2006 and is appraised at $161,204 today.  That Dish real estate investment paid off handsomely!  Weep not for the Tillman family.
Read the rest here.

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