Josh Fox

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Josh Fox (born 1972) is an American film director and environmental activist, best known for his Oscar-nominated 2010 documentary, Gasland. In addition to this film, he is one of the most prominent public critics of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.[1] Fox graduated from Columbia University in 1995.


In February 2012 he was arrested during a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee hearing on hydraulic fracturing when he attempted to videotape the proceedings.[2][3]

According to Fox: "I was attending a health care hearing in [Washington] DC on the case that we had been working on for three and a half years: these amazing cowboys out in Pavillion, Wyoming. And the EPA showed that they had 50 times the level of allowable benzene in their groundwater, which is a carcinogen. The Republicans were holding a hearing to grill the EPA and challenge their science. It was obvious that this was an attack on the EPA. So, I had to be there to cover the hearing; there was no question. So, we appealed to the committee to let us in. Now, that's just protocol. A public hearing is a public hearing. The law is: you can tape it." He said he was unfairly arrested and later vindicated: "they dismissed it, they recognized that they had no case, this was a First Amendment issue."[4]

Gasland viewers labeled terrorists

In September 2010, the AP reported Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell admitted that information about municipal zoning hearings on Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling and a screening of the documentary "Gasland," as well as an anti-BP candlelight vigil and other peaceful gatherings, were the subject of anti-terrorism bulletins being distributed by Pennsylvania's homeland security office. Rendell admitted that distributing the information was tantamount to trampling on constitutional rights, as the bulletins were going to representatives of Pennsylvania's natural gas industry.[5]

New York

The Sky is Pink

The Sky is Pink

As New York debated whether to legalize fracking in five counties in the state, Fox released the short film The Sky is Pink (2012), which looks at the industry's own records on fracking and the potential for water contamination from problems with the cement casing in drilling wells. According to Fox, "[oilfield services company] Schlumberger reports that six percent of the cement fails immediately upon installation... And then they report that cement breaks down over time at an alarming rate - 50 percent of these cement casings fail over a 30-year period. They also report that 20 percent of oil and gas wells around the world are leaking."[4]

Fox said rather than address these problems, the gas industry hired the PR firm Hill and Knowlton to create doubt about the problem, similar to the tactic used by the tobacco industry.[4]

Clean energy report

In early March 2013 Mark Ruffalo spearheaded the effort to create a plan for a renewable energy future for the state of New York. Along with filmmaker Josh Fox the two put together a team of researchers headed by Stanford University Professor Mark Z. Jacobson. Their report, titled "Examining the Feasibility of Converting New York State's All-Purpose Energy Infrastructure to One Using Wind, Water and Sunlight". Prof. Jacobson co-authored the report with Cornell University Professor of Engineering, Anthony Ingraffea, Cornell Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Robert W. Howarth, and University of California at Davis scientist Mark Delucchi, among others. Their findings were published in the journal Energy Policy.

According to the study, if New York switched to wind, water and sunlight, deaths from air pollution–related deaths would decline by about 4,000 annually. Additionally the report states that the state would save about $33 billion – 3 percent of the state's gross domestic product – in related health costs every year. The report goes on to say that these savings alone would pay for the new power infrastructure needed within about 17 years, or about 10 years if annual electricity sales are accounted for.[6]


  • 2010 Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize
  • 2010 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival Artistic Vision award
  • 2010 Thin Line Film Festival Audience Award
  • 2010 Yale Environmental Film Festival Grand Jury Prize
  • 2010 Sarasota International Film Festival Special Jury Prize

Related Sourcewatch resources

External Resources


  1. Bauers, Sandy (2011). A raucous anti-fracking rally in Center City. Retrieved on 3 February 2012.
  2. Goldenberg, Suzanne (2012-02-01). "Josh Fox, director of Gasland, arrested at fracking hearing", The Guardian, London: GMG. Retrieved on 3 February 2012. 
  3. Banerjee, Neela (2012-02-01). "'Gasland' director Fox arrested filming House subcommittee", Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles: Tribune Co. Retrieved on 3 February 2012. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Christine Shearer, "Gasland Director Josh Fox on His New Film, Gas Industry Lies and Government Collusion," truthout, July 2, 2013.
  5. Marc Levy, "`Appalled' Pa. gov. shuts down reports on protests" AP, Sep. 15, 2010.
  6. "Examining the Feasibility of Converting New York State's All-Purpose Energy Infrastructure to One Using Wind, Water and Sunlight" Mark Z. Jacobson, Anthony Ingraffea, et al.

Wikipedia also has an article on Josh Fox. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.