Documentary filmmaker refused access to hearing on hydraulic fracturing
'Gasland' director Josh Fox made quite the arresting presence at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday while trying to film a House hearing.
The filmmaker behind the 2010 HBO documentary was detained and charged by Capitol police for trying to film a House Science Committee hearing on the gas and oil-extraction process of hydraulic fracturing, aka "fracking," which Fox has crusaded against.
According to Politico, Fox was cuffed at about 10 a.m. before the hearing could come to order. The panel was scheduled to look into the Environmental Protection Agency's investigation into whether natural gas drilling had caused water contamination in Pavillion, Wyo.
Fox — who yelled that he was "within my First Amendment rights" as he was taken away — was charged with unlawful entry, according to Politico.
An ABC news crew also was denied access to the hearing, Politico says.
Committee Chairman Ralph M. Hall (R-Texas) has discretion to allow uncredentialed members of the media film the hearing. The chairman has the discretion on whether to allow uncredentialed members of the media to film hearings, according to a democratic staffer.
Fox and ABC did find an ally in Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.), who moved to allow them to film the proceedings.
"[I]'t's clear we have space in this room to film this hearing," Miller said.
Republicans on the committee voted to table Miller's motion to allow Fox and ABC to film.
This isn't the first time Fox has been arrested in Washington, D.C.: in September, the filmmaker — who's working on a sequel to his Oscar-nominated documentary — was arrested at the White House while protesting the mining of Canada's tar sands.
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