Eco-briefs | Gasland’s Josh Fox requests meeting with Obama administration

Josh Fox in Gasland 2
Photo courtesy of Josh Fox

Gasland’s Josh Fox requests meeting with Obama administration

Josh Fox, the director of the two-part film series, Gasland and Gasland Part II, on the health, economic and political impacts of fracking, has released an open letter in which he requests a meeting with President Barack Obama’s administration to discuss fracking.

“We believe that the natural gas industry has not been forthcoming with your administration about the real effects of drilling and fracking on our water, air, land, climate, public health and safety — and on democracy itself,” Fox writes. “As such, we seek to discuss with you the dark side of fracking, a perspective that has not yet been presented to you with adequate weight or emphasis.”

Fox presented the idea that the administration meet with six of the families in Gasland Part II who have experienced water contamination and other health problems they believed was caused by natural gas drilling on nearby properties. The meeting would also include presentations from three scientists who are featured in the film.

“Do not let your legacy be a switch from coal to gas, a Pyrrhic victory, an exchange of one form of climate-killing pollution for another that, over its entire lifecycle, is just as calamitous,” Fox writes to Obama. “Instead, ground your energy policy in careful science and let your legacy include hearing the people out.”

— Joseph Wirth

Senate subcommittee to discuss potential mega-drought in Colorado River Basin

A paper published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society in June has predicted a severe mega-drought in the Colorado River Basin.

The paper states that the mega-drought could decrease the flow of the Colorado River by 45 percent by the middle of the 21st century.

A Senate subcommittee is expected to consider the Colorado River Basin Study and discuss municipal water conservation, agricultural water conservation and how to maintain healthy flow levels for the Colorado River.

“Congress needs to take this issue seriously now,” Gary Wockner of the Save The Colorado River Campaign said in a press release. “We need to make sure the Colorado River Basin Study is used to combat this imbalance and potential mega-drought — we can hope and pray for rain, but we need to plan for a worst-case scenario that supplies water and protects the river in the 21st century.”

The U.S. Department of the Interior’s paper on water conservation and implementation of the Secure Water Act states that federal leadership will be critical to public acceptance and implementation of water conservation and reuse.

“The Southwest U.S. is entering a potential severe water crisis, and we can’t build dams and pipelines to fix it,” Wockner said in the press release. “We need to develop a new economy in water conservation and river protection that meets this challenge.”

— Joseph Wirth