ICYMI – Top PA Environmental Regulator Calls GasLand’s Josh Fox A “Propagandist”

  • In an interview with The Inquirer on Wednesday, [DEP secretary John] Hanger was harshly critical of Fox, whom he called a “propagandist
  • Hanger dismissed Gasland … as “fundamentally dishonest” and “a deliberately false presentation for dramatic effect.”
  • Critics say Fox, who stars in his own movie in the style of Michael Moore, presents a one-sided portrait of natural gas extraction. Energy in Depth … called Gasland “heavy on hyperbole, light on facts.”

FLASHBACK Sec. Hanger as CEO of top environmental group: “Since our founding by The Heinz Endowments and the Pew Charitable Trusts in 1998, PennFuture has changed the landscape in Pennsylvania for both environmental protection and the economy. … If we are to truly move our state, our nation, and our world into a new clean and green future and solve the problem of global warming, we know we have a long road ahead and many challenges to meet.” (4/14/08)

 

‘Gasland’ documentary fuels debate over natural gas extraction
Andrew Maykuth
The Philadelphia Inquirer

Wed, Jun. 23, 2010

John Hanger might think twice the next time a documentary filmmaker knocks on his door in the state capital.

In a documentary about natural gas development that premiered this week on HBO, Pennsylvania’s secretary of the environment receives a decidedly unflattering portrayal at the hands of Josh Fox, who made the movie Gasland.

Fox portrays Hanger – a liberal who spent years in the mainstream environmental movement – as an equivocating tool of the natural gas industry. In one of the film’s signature moments, Fox pulls out a bottle of water he says was polluted by a Marcellus Shale gas well and challenges the state’s top environmental regulator to drink it.

A clearly uncomfortable Hanger declines. At the end of the interview – Hanger appears for five minutes of the 105-minute film – the secretary detaches the microphone from his lapel and walks out of his own office.

In an interview with The Inquirer on Wednesday, Hanger was harshly critical of Fox, whom he called a “propagandist.”

Hanger dismissed Gasland, which won a Sundance Film Festival award, as “fundamentally dishonest” and “a deliberately false presentation for dramatic effect.”

Fox, contacted in New York on Wednesday during a promotional tour, shot back: “It’s John Hanger himself who’s dishonest.” He said the secretary was disingenuous to present natural gas development “as anything other than a disaster.”

The flap encapsulates much of the polarizing debate that has erupted around shale-gas drilling, which relies upon a controversial technique known as hydraulic fracturing.

Fox became interested in gas drilling early last year when an operator offered his family nearly $100,000 to lease its 19 acres in northeastern Pennsylvania, in the heart of the booming Marcellus Shale natural gas play. Fox sets out on a mission to expose the evils of natural gas.

Critics say Fox, who stars in his own movie in the style of Michael Moore, presents a one-sided portrait of natural gas extraction. Energy in Depth, an industry website, called Gasland “heavy on hyperbole, light on facts.”

NOTE: Click HERE to read the full Inquirer article on-line.

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