Anti-Fracking Activist Says EPA Head Is ‘Lying’ To Help Fracking

(REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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Anti-fracking filmmaker Josh Fox accused the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of “lying” to Congress to help drilling.

Fox told BBC News former EPA head Lisa Jackson lied in her testimony to the U.S. Senate when she said that there are zero cases of fracking causing water contamination. Fox claimed that the oil and gas industry had gotten to Jackson and that a major five-year study by the EPA, which found fracking had not led to water contamination was also a lie.

Fox went on to say that the EPA is “not a valid source of information on fracking right now” because the agency’s science disagrees with him. After the interview, Fox posted a video on YouTube, saying that he was “very angry” with the BBC and that the organist was “repeating oil and gas industry talking points as if they’re the truth.” He also stated that “it’s 2016” and therefore fracking must contaminate ground water and the BBC was “masquerading as if they were some kind of journalists.”

Fox, who directed the two anti-fracking “Gasland” films, is one of the most prominent public opponents of fracking and horizontal drilling. Fox’s anti-fracking films have been debunked numerous times, and he’s been caught by the media distorting statistics and making misleading statements about crucial information that could derail his political agenda. All of Fox’s claims about fracking including that it causes groundwater contamination, air pollution and health effects have been thoroughly debunked.

Fox’s “Gasland” films became famous for a scene showing a Colorado resident light tap water on fire due to alleged natural gas dissolved in the water. Fox claimed the natural gas was from fracking operations nearby — despite decades of evidence there was methane in the groundwater before fracking ever came to the region. When the BBC interviewer brought this up, Fox claimed it was “absolutely not true.”

When the water was tested by qualified scientists at the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, they reported “[t]here are no indications of any oil & gas related impacts to your well water.”

The agency determined the natural gas in the water supply had come from a naturally occurring pocket of methane because the resident’s well had been drilled through a coal bed. Fox reportedly knew the flaming faucet he filmed had nothing to do with fracking before he included it in the movie.

Despite this outright falsehood, the claim that fracking causes tap water to catch on fire remains common among environmentalists and has even been repeated by The Sierra Club.

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