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Josh Fox: Are We About to Witness the Liquidation Sale of New York and its Drinking Water?

The "Gasland" filmmaker talks about the threats not just from fracking, but from oil, coal and any number of extreme energy extraction methods.

The following is from Sabrina Artel's Trailer Talk: The Frack Talk Marcellus Shale Water Project. Listen to the complete program  here.

This is a conversation about community and sharing the voices from the gaslands of America. This is the story of Josh Fox, his movie Gasland and about his current, Save the Delaware campaign. "Is this the liquidation sale of New York and our drinking water?" asks Josh Fox.  

This is a week to celebrate the sudden November 17 cancellation of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) meeting where they were expected to vote on new gas drilling regulations, i.e. green-light fracking in the Delaware River basin that provides drinking water for 16.5 million people. On the 17th Governor of Delaware, Jack Markell announced that his state would be voting "no" on the new DRBC regulations that would have allowed 20,000 wells to be fracked in the watershed. Governor Cuomo of New York had already stated that he would vote "no" which left the expected "yes" votes of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, leaving the deciding vote to a representative for President Obama; a very complicated decision for him and one with risky implications. This is a movement about building coalitions, including the Delaware Riverkeeper that lead the numerous grassroots organizations organizing the event in Trenton, New Jersey on November 21.  

So a momentary respite from the threats of gas drilling to the Delaware was celebrated on November 21 as hundreds of people traveled to the already scheduled rally in Trenton, New Jersey which included actors and activists, Debra Winger and Mark Ruffalo residents of upstate NY. In addition, Julie and Craig Sautner of Dimock, PA who are still without safe drinking water three years later, as promised by Cabot Oil, gave their support of the victory for the watershed and served to remind us of what's at stake.  

Josh Fox said about the rally:

The past three years of campaigning in 200 cities all over the country and on five continents against fracking has taught me that I can't go home until everyone can. That this nightmare is being wrought on so many in their waking lives all over the world and that it must be stopped. Today we will rally in Trenton to reinforce our victory, yes, and it is victory that we have fought for and needed with such energy and passion that it almost seems unreal. But more importantly today we will rally for the rest of the country that is currently being fracked to hell. I think we are all just trying to become human again. We are in a system that has gone out of control.

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) hearings are in progress that address the draft regulations (SGEIS) that will determine whether or not the fracking of New York will be permitted. Two rallies were held in Binghamton on the 17th before each DEC session (the last two hearings will be held on November 29 and 30) to protest fracking throughout the state. This is another critical decision that will impact the kind of lives people have throughout the state. If permitted, fracking could devastate local economies, farming and resources, in addition to creating adverse health impacts and fracturing communities. If not legalized New York could continue being the leader in pushing back the gas industry and saying no to this kind of industrialization.  

The documentary film Gasland, directed by Josh Fox in a co-creation with Matt T. Sanchez has become an amazing catalyst and educational resource that has contributed immensely to the visibility of fracking and the increasing dialogue about it. Josh shares with me during our Trailer Talk conversations that his own definition of what home is has expanded as he continues to meet people who are sharing their stories of living with the oil and gas industry throughout the world. This is a story about people standing up to fight injustice.  

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