With faux-science video producer Josh Fox about to release his Gasworks video on Thursday, it appears his incendiary claims will get same-day competition from a new film called Gashoax by Phelim McAleer, the cinematographer who made Frack Nation.
Fox gained notoriety with his first film, called Gasland, which featured a banjo-playing country boy standing in front of a Pennsylvania gas drilling platform wearing a gas-mask. The film only grossed $30,846, but scored 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and earned an Academy Award nomination due to its shocking depiction of local residents lighting their faucets on fire, supposedly due to fracking for natural gas in the community.
After an initial flurry of positive press, Josh Fox ran into a buzz-saw of local and state criticism. With the region sitting on one of the world’s largest coal deposits, some northeastern Pennsylvania residents have been lighting their faucets from natural gas seepage as a community prank for many decades, long before fracking.
According to the New York Times, Fox used disingenuous animation on his website to depict hydraulic “fractures reaching up to the water table, though the text below says that they are separated by about 7,000 feet. It also states that water problems typically stem from poor cement well casings, which is different from fracturing.”
In Fox’s latest diatribe against the fracking (from “hydraulic fracturing”) industry–which has cut the cost of natural gas by about 82 percent in the last 15 years–tries to make the case that drilling workers around hydraulic fracking are dying due to methane gas exposure.
The latest video follows Fox’s widely panned and financially disastrous Gasland II. The highly promoted film made bizarre claims that hydraulic fracking caused breast cancer. The sequel immediately went to DVD and only grossed $370,894.
It is understood that Phelim McAleer’s Gashoax plans to out Fox’s new health claims by prominently featuring tapped interview footage from Dr. Daniel Coster, a travelling emergency room physician who works at several hospitals throughout the northeast area of Pennsylvania. Dr. Coster is expected to report that he has not seen adverse health effects or skin rashes due to rise of the local gas industry, although there have been some industrial injuries from working on drilling crews.