Josh Fox (left) and James Hermann (right) at the screening of "Gasland" in Cooperstown, June 16, 2010
Josh Fox presented Gasland – The Movie last night in Cooperstown to a packed house and several standing ovations.The presentation was sponsored by the remarkable groups Sustainable Otsego and Otsego 2000.
Josh fielded questions from what was obviously a very well-informed public. A lot was learned this evening. I must say, it was one of the few times when I left the meeting not feeling disheartened. Combine that with the fact that one of two bills before the New York State assembly, each calling for a moratorium on gas drilling in the Marcelllus Shale, had a good chance of passing the following day.
A call to action was made by Josh and the sponsoring organizations for audience members to call their representatives and the next morning expressing their support for the bills.
What can I say about this amazing film? It was a labor of love by a filmmaker who obviously loves where he lives and labored hard on this prize-winning film. Gasland is the winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
Gasland is premiering on HBO, Monday, June 21 at 9 PM Eastern / 8 PM Central time. If you live anywhere in New York State, including New York City, you will really want to see this film. Natural gas drilling is the next environmental disaster waiting to happen. This film will inform you of the dangers, and what you can do about them.
There has been some talk about a “debunking” of this film. That “ebunking is so lame as to be laughable, except that some people fall for it.
It nit-picks at some facts that Josh didn’t get perfectly right. That is a red herring. Nothing gets everything perfectly right, but Gasland is so right about the big picture, and almost every small detail is correct.
On the other hand, the oil and gas industries screw up in major ways frequently. The fact that they pay off government agencies with money, drugs and sex (or haven’t you been reading the newspapers?) to hide their screw-ups, doesn’t mean that they aren’t there. This is a really bad problem. The industry pays out millions if not billions, to cover up disaster after disaster, and then in its press releases says, “Hey look–we been doing this for so many years without a disaster!”
It would be nice if, at least by now, everyone understood how these industries work, especially after the glaring example of BP (Beyond Pollution) in the Gulf of Mexico. Keep in mind that Halliburton developed the casings to that oil well. They also developed the casings that will be used (if we don’t stop them) in the proposed gas wells. Halliburton also developed high-pressure horizontal hydraulic fracturing for gas. They pioneered new techniques in Iraq (covertly) during the First Gulf War.
Are we to trust our futures to the company that ripped off the American military in the Persian Gulf? How warm and cuddly does the word “Halliburton” make you feel?
What you have is a predatory industry who’s bottom line (their only line) is profit, no matter what the cost to the people they lie to. Even most of the landowners who think they’ve “won the lottery” (really – some of them actually believe the BS that the landmen shoveled on them) soon regret their decision to despoil their land, heritage and health for a scam.
Somebody pointed out that the natural gas industry’s shills have spent more possibly ten times more money on damage control from the film Gasland than Josh Fox did on making it.
Of course there’s another side to the story of Gasland. But it is weak and disingenuous at best. It’s paid for by the industry and their flunkies. On the other hand, Gasland was made and is promoted by people who care about their homes, the environment, and the real good of the general populace, not just expedience and greed for a few.
It’s working! The NYS Assembly may well pass a moratorium
A few days ago the Senate’s Environmental Conservation (EnCon) Committee passed the 1-year moratorium as proposed by committee chair Sen. Antoine Thompson. That’s certainly better than nothing!
Sen. Thompson has told us that he doesn’t think the Addabbo bill would pass on the floor of the full legislature; he thinks his bill has a better chance. He may be right, but the folks calling our senators have been getting increasingly positive responses! If we keep the pressure up FOR ADDABBO, in other words FOR SCIENCE BEFORE DRILLING, we just might push them into doing the right thing!
Thompson himself told me that if the Addabbo bill is the one that comes to the floor, he will vote for it!
So here are TODAY’s ACTION STEPS from our friends who know Albany:
BOTTOM LINE: WE NEED A MORATORIUM BILL TO PASS
WHAT TO SAY: ASK the Senate leadership to make sure we get a moratorium bill. Explain that you prefer the Englebright/Addabbo bill (Senate 7592A, which links the moratorium to the EPA study), or register your desire to at least see the Thompson bill pass (that’s the one-year moratorium, not tied to the EPA). But, keep pushing, we are almost to the end of the session. Senate majority leadership is the key target.
Simple message in support of the Addabbo bill: Do the science before the drilling!
CALL THESE SENATORS: (I just called them all and it only took a few minutes. All the receptionists were friendly, helpful, and thankful for the support. – Brian)
Sen. Sampson 518-455-2788 or 718-649-7653,
Sen. Malcolm Smith, 518-455-2701. They have started a petition that people can sign to push the Addabbo Bill! PLEASE CALL AND SIGN. It only takes a minute. THEY SAID THAT THEY ARE RECEIVING MANY CALLS! It’s fantastic that they’ve done this!
Sen. Espada 518-455-3395 or 718-652-4329,
Sen. Klein (co-sponsor of Addabbo bill, so thank him!) 518-455-3595 or 718-822-2049
Sen. Addabbo – 518-455-2322
Sen. Hassell-Thompson 518-455-2061 or 718-547-8854
CALL THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE — 518-474-8390 Remember, if one of these bills passes, we have to make sure that Governor Paterson signs it!
In a nutshell: The Englebright/Adabbo bill should be passed to establish a moratorium on conducting unconventional gas drilling in NYS until 120 days after the issuance of a report thereon by the federal EPA.
“The right to own property does not convey with it the privilege of harming people, communities or the environment. Law pretending to uphold property rights while empowering corporations or property-owners to destroy community, the environment on which all life depends, or the enjoyment of community and property by others, is illegitimate law.”