NY Congressman Calls Gasland Director Josh Fox’s Fracking Arrest Politically Motivated Censorship

Feb 4th, 2012 | By Mark | Category: Fracking, Lead Articles

NatGas Consulting

Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY21) called the recent arrest of Gasland director Josh Fox "censorship based on viewpoint."

In an exclusive interview with NaturalGasWatch.org, Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY21) called the recent arrest of “Gasland” director Josh Fox “censorship based on viewpoint” and a politically motivated attempt to obscure Congressional proceedings.

“There have been situations before where people who were not credentialed were allowed to film … (this incident) struck me as censorship based on viewpoint,” Tonko said of Fox’s arrest.

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Fox was arrested on Wednesday, Feb. 1, as he attempted to film a meeting of the House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment, at the request of the Subcommittee’s chair, Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD1). The subcommittee convened the hearing ostensibly to “review the EPA’s approach to groundwater testing in Pavillion, Wyoming,” according to the subcommittee’s webpage.

Recent EPA research has linked contaminated groundwater in Pavillion to hydraulic fracturing, or “tracking” as it has come to be known in the parlance of our times.

Harris did not respond to repeated requests by NaturalGasWatch.org for comment on the Fox arrest.

Tonko said Fox was in no way disruptive to the meeting and that his arrest represented a missed opportunity for people to learn more about fracking, how it works and how it affects the environment.

Unidentified witnesses testifying at a recent hearing of the House of Representatives' Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment. The hearing was convened in response to recent EPA findings linking fracking to contamination in groundwater in Pavillion, Wyoming.

“I’m having a hard time understanding the logic,” of Fox’s arrest, Tonko said, adding that the hearing was being filmed by House staffers anyway. “Why would you be intimated by his presence unless you’re insecure about your viewpoint or your understanding of the science? People have a right to know and they have a need to know and, ironically, this hearing was supposed to be all about transparency. You can’t help but wonder if this denial of permission to film was based on viewpoint.”

Below is a recording of the hearing the includes discussion of Fox’s arrest.

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