AN OPEN LETTER TO JOURNALISTS FROM GASLAND DIRECTOR JOSH
FOX IN RESPONSE TO ATTACKS BY GAS INDUSTRY
Josh Fox on Tuesday, February 8, 2011 at 12:43pm
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.
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 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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.