PA Government Official Compares Oscar-nominated Film 'Gasland' to Nazi Propaganda
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This week, Teddy Borawski, the chief oil and gas geologist for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and a member of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett's administration, serving in an official capacity, and on the record, compared my Sundance award-winning and Oscar-nominated documentary film GASLAND to Nazi propaganda stating "Goebbels would be proud." The slander was the latest in a series of smears and misinformation about the film and character attacks on me.
This kind of hateful speech shows a contempt for history, for truth, for science and sets a dangerous precedent in our state's government. Such slanderous mudslinging has no place in any rational or adult debate on any topic, let alone the most important issue facing the state in decades -- natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale.
When one speaks violence, he degrades himself and his fellow man. When that person represents the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, he violates the fabric of our civic trust, delegitimizes the government he represents and opens the door to madness. The Corbett administration has thrown the dialogue on Marcellus drilling into the gutter and it is it up to the Corbett administration to get it out.
I made the film GASLAND out of a geniune care and love for the state of Pennsylvania. The film was designed to bring to light something that we were by and large overlooking -- the extreme harm and danger of Fracking for Natural Gas, as it was taking place across the nation. To make the film, myself and a dedicated team of five people were working for no pay, day and night, without a major media company behind the film and without any assurances that anyone would see the film outside of the Delaware River basin.
The film GASLAND has been thoroughly vetted, fact checked, verified and backed up by true journalistic review and science and we stand behind it and the incredibly brave Americans in it 100%.
GASLAND has helped forge a movement in Pennsylvania, New York, and increasingly worldwide. Millions of people saw the film when it aired on HBO. In addition, I have toured to over 100 cities in the United States. Everywhere I go, I hear the complaints, concerns, outrage and dismay of the citizens facing the driller's invasion.
But instead of engaging in a real dialogue on the issues, the Pennsylvania government and the gas industry have mounted successive attacks against the honest journalism of the film. I and my team have been branded terrorists, extremists, communists, traitors, liars and now, Nazis. NAZIS!!!!!!
The state deserves better.
If the Corbett administration fails to fire Borawski and fails to begin a real assessment of the effects of gas drilling on the state, then certainly the Corbett administration has lost all credibility and legitimacy.
Does slandering a documentary filmmaker as a Nazi constitute the level of dialogue that the Corbett administration believes is good governance? Do you call someone a Nazi just because they don't agree with you?
Apparently, the whole world knows there is something terribly wrong with Hydraulic Fracturing for Natural Gas, everywhere except the dark cave of the Corbett administration. New York state has moved into a bi-partisan moratorium on fracking, Quebec has imposed a de-facto moratorium on shale drilling, the Maryland state house is on the verge of passing a similar moratorium, 20,000 protesters marched in France last week against shale drilling, Austrailian farmers are revolting and locking their gates against gas exploration, the New York Times reported that radioactive gas drilling waste was being dumped directly into Pennsylvania's drinking water sources, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Pro-Publica news organization reported thousands of cases of contamination across the country, CNN and 60 minutes has reported numerous case studies on families whose health have been harmed and whose water has become undrinkable due to drilling and yet there is one dark corner of the world that refuses to acknowledge the threat posed by gas drilling, the ruling party of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.