'Gasland' Director Josh Fox Arrested Trying to Film House Hearing on Fracking
Josh Fox, director ofGasland, the Oscar-nominated documentary that put "fracking" on the map, was arrested, along with his filming crew, this morning by United States Capitol Police. The arrest, which took place in Room 2318 of the Raybun Building, occurred during a hearing of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment. According to Capitol police spokeswoman Sergeant Kimberly Schneider, Fox was charged with unlawful entry. Fox and his crew were seeking footage for their sequel to Gasland.
"I'm within my First Amendment rights, and I'm being taken out," Fox said, as he was led away in handcuffs.
The Subcommittee, which is chaired by the conservative Andy Harris (R-MD), titled today's hearing Fractured Science - Examining EPA's Approach to Ground Water Research: The Pavillion Analysis, and was intended to question the EPA's report on December 8th, which implicated the controversial gas extraction practice with groundwater contamination. Last year Harris voted to defund key components of the EPA, and rewrite the Clean Water Act to give final authority to the states to interpret and enforce water pollution laws. In his opening remarks to today's hearing, Harris called natural gas one of the "few bright spots in our current economic climate" and charged the EPA with the "abuse" of science.
As subcommittee chairperson, Harris has the discretion to allow un-credentialed members of the media to film the hearing. But he opted instead for arrest. Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.), the high-ranking Democrat on the Subcommittee, called a motion to suspend the committee rules "so the fella who wanted to film for HBO be allowed to film this hearing and that ABC be allowed to film this hearing and all God's children be allowed to film this hearing until the room is too full for us to conduct our business."