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by Dana Harris
February 1, 2012 1:02 PM
11 Comments
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Josh Fox Arrested on Capitol Hill While Filming 'Gasland' Sequel

Photo courtesy of the office of Rep. Paul Tonko Josh Fox was arrested at 10:30 am on February 1, 2012 in room 2318 of the Rayburn House Office Building and charged with unlawful entry.

Oscar-nominated "Gasland" filmmaker Josh Fox was arrested this morning in Washington, D.C. and charged with unlawful entry after trying to film a House Science Committee hearing on fracking.

UPDATE: Fox issued a statement this afternoon after he was processed and released.

According to Politico, Fox was led out in handcuffs before the hearing began while shouting, "I'm within my First Amendment rights, and I'm being taken out."

Fox's "Gasland" took on oil and gas companies for their policy of using hydraulic fracturing to obtain fuel from underneath layers of otherwise unpenetrable rock.  The process has been accused of contaminating drinking water in rural mid-Atlantic towns, and Fox's film is famous for showing residents set fire to the water coming out of their kitchen sinks.  He was in the Capitol shooting a follow-up.

A credentialed ABC News news team was also denied entrance, according to the Huffington Post.

Capitol police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider told Indiewire that the arrest took place at about 10:30 am ET. As of 12:45 pm ET, Fox was still under arrest and being processed.  

Fox is in the process of shooting a sequel to "Gasland," which was nominated for best documentary at the 2011 Academy Awards.

According to a blog post written by fellow documentarian AJ Schnack, Fox had hoped to release his "Gasland" sequel early this year.

Per Schnack,

It will include cameos from those at every level in the debate, including U.S. senators, small-town inspection officers, and petition-wielding parking-lot activists. “On the one side is a very powerful industry and their political and media allies,” says Fox. “But there are small groups of extremely dedicated activists fighting fracking in every state where it’s a threat. It’s incredibly inspiring to see these mini-labs in democracy in action.”
 

TAGS: GASLAND

11 Comments

  • Kyle | April 4, 2012 9:33 PMReply

    Talk to someone involved in these jobs. Don't just sit behind your large office chair and debate over needless babble. Get out there and talk to the people. You will find that it's not all it's cracked up to be and realize that the sensationalism that hollywood creates isn't necessarally true.

  • anon | February 2, 2012 3:42 PMReply

    I'm trying to find the webcast of this hearing, i almost got it last night but there was static and today i cant find it. Anyone know how to access this? It would be important to know WHY they wanted him out of the room, what they were discussing that they dont want the public to know.

  • anon | February 2, 2012 3:59 PM

    found it:
    http://science.house.gov/hearing/energy-and-environment-subcommittee-hearing-fostering-quality-science-epa-perspectives

    however, it has already clearly been edited as the portion i heard last night was no longer part of the webcast.

  • Yuri | February 1, 2012 5:11 PMReply

    Hydrological fracturing was deregulated by the so-called Halliburton Loophole. The 2005 Energy Act reclassified horizontal hydrological fracturing as an unconventional technology and exempted it from the Clean Drinking water and Clean Air acts from the late 1970s. The industry, largely lead by corporations like Oklahoma based Chesapeake Energy and Colorado based Energy Corporation of America, are in the process of transforming Appalachia into the next superfund site....one that will span upwards of 100,000 square miles. Please educate yourself on the truth about hydrological fracturing and support local resistance. But be prepared....arrests are possible.

  • ProfessorHS | February 1, 2012 3:04 PMReply

    Sorry - I don't think anyone is "demonizing" fracking. Josh Fox is simply telling it like it is. As much as we would prefer to believe that fracking (and the Keystone XL Pipeline, for that matter) is all about jobs and energy independence, they both mean fat paychecks for big oil and pose unacceptable risks to the environment.

  • Russ | February 1, 2012 2:36 PMReply

    there are fortunes to be made, jobs to grow, politicians needing campaign funding, and it doesn't make as much smoke burning. Nothing will stop natural gas fracking. The lifestyle of today requires it and has robust denial tehnologies built in

  • Mister Rogers | February 1, 2012 5:06 PM

    I'm going to assume your comment is tongue in cheek. But some of your readers might not get it. Other countries like France and Bulgaria have banned fracking. Yes, we can stop un-natural gas fracking and we will. Way past time for north Americans to get some discipline and backbone and stop the waste of anything.

  • Justin Kownacki | February 1, 2012 2:18 PMReply

    Arresting and detaining the journalists covering an industry doesn't do much to un-demonize that industry, does it?

  • Jake | February 1, 2012 1:52 PMReply

    Fracking needs to be done carefully without harming our citizens but demonizing it won't help our economy either. There are tremendous natural gas resources in the US and it's not all about corporate greed. It's also about energy independence and creating jobs in such a tough economy.

  • Jake | February 1, 2012 5:08 PM

    Profits=Jobs Not everything is some horrible conspiracy.

  • Beth | February 1, 2012 4:37 PM

    This is not about energy independence. Much of the gas that is being extracted is being exported. A recent Business Week article indicated that the industry was concerned that the current glut of natural gas on the domestic market had driven domestic prices down. They are exporting the gas to decrease the overall domestic supply and raise domestic prices (while simultaneously getting a good price for the gas and its related products on the international market). Moreover, this not really about America - many other countries, China and France being among them, have invested billions of dollars in the shale gas drilling industry. So, while Americans are having problems from air pollution and water pollution from this industry, the gas and a lot of the profits are going to other countries. We are paying the price, while they reap the benefits. I'm speaking as someone who lives in the middle of a shale field, by the way, and as someone with a doctorate. I do know what I'm talking about.