All In   |  June 28, 2013

Chronicling the fracking revolution

Chris Hayes talks to director Josh Fox about his new fracking documentary Gasland Part II.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> it's all settled out.

>> right.

>> but that's what our water looked like.

>> that came out of just out of the tap?

>> out of the tap.

>> right.

>> so at three weeks they contacted mike by phone and said we've tested your water, there's nothing wrong with your water.

>> with this?

>> with this. there's nothing wrong with the water that can be affected by the oil and gas production in your area.

>> whoa. jesus christ .

>> when i first watched that iconic shot from documentary "gas land" i like most americans i'm guessing knew absolutely nothing, zero, about the gas extraction process called hydraulic fractures, commonly known as fracking. but in the three short years since "gas land" came out, americans have watched sometimes in horror as the united states has undergone nothing short of a fracking revolution, one that has touched hundreds of communities across the country from central pennsylvania to new mexico, to upstate new york . and it's only just the beginning. the explosion of natural gas production in the united states has completely and totally revolutionized the entire american economy and energy industry . it has also made fracking one of the most controversial and intense battles being waged in communities and on a larger scale in washington, where the white house and congress are very friendly to natural gas . over the past five years, fracking has truly changed everything and now josh fox is back. the man who made the world pay attention to the fracking revolution happening in backyards across the country and in the process became enemy number one of the u.s. energy industry . "gas land part 2 " is his new documentary about the front line of the fracking revolution.

>> one night i went out with him. at this time we didn't need the flare camera.

>> just don't breathe.

>> huh?

>> just don't breathe. the wind is coming from this side.

>> whoa, that one -- see that one just went out, shooting methane up in the air.

>> oh, dude, it's right behind somebody's house.

>> you can smell something.

>> this is what bob was talking about. methane venting straight up into the atmosphere. there had to be a better way.

>> joining me now is josh fox, director of "gas land part 2 " a follow-up to the 2010 academy award documentary "gas land" which we directed. it premieres on hbo monday july 8th at 8:00 p.m .

>> it's great to be here.

>> explain what we just saw there.

>> that's a great way to start. what you saw there are flare stacks. when you talk about natural gas development, we talk about gas development all over the place, rural areas , suburban areas, national parks , state parks . you have gas that's being developed, fracked and drilled all over america. the target zone for this industry, they have leased more land than the whole landmass of california and florida combined. so if you picture lease property/nonlease property. lease property it affects a landmass twice as many as that. what you saw there were flare stacks after drilling operations and see one of the stacks go out. something that's very common and it's shooting method thain straig methane straight up into the atmosphere. methane is natural gas . what people don't understand is how much of this methane is leaking.

>> let's talk about the methane issue. the defenders of natural gas and people who doubt the fracking revolution, there are even some environment lists who do, say, look, we have carbon emissions at an all-time low -- not an all-time low, obviously, not an all-time low, but at a low recently. we've seen carbon really fall off the cliff and it's because of natural gas . what role does methane play in how we understand whether this is good for the climate?

>> that's a great question. methane is the second most greenhouse gas . it also warms the planet much faster, it dissipates much quicker. methane in the 20-year timeframe, the next two decades, it warms the atmosphere 80 to 105 times more than carbon dioxide does. you need 80 to 105 pounds of carbon dioxide to equal one pound of methane.

>> to get the same greenhouse gas effect.

>> right. which means you need something like any more than 1% leakage of methane in the total production of natural gas means that you're worse than coal which is our worse fossil fuel . i'm not advocating for coal. as we saw a few days ago, the president comes out and talks about climate. i mean, look, it's amazing to see a president talk about climate.

>> we, agreed.

>> i've always been an obama supporter and it's an incredibly welcome thing to say this is the number one cry sisz we're facing. i couldn't be happier about that. i couldn't be more unhappy that the plan increases natural gas production, exports natural gas production and encourages natural gas production in other countries.

>> okay. so here's my, if i'm incredibly cynical, this is my feeling about this. there is a ton of money in this. it's cheap and only getting cheaper. the policy apparatus of this country is behind it. what is going to stop the freight train that is the fracking revolution?

>> we've more seen this. i mean, look, i made this film as a youtube -- to start off as a youtube video for my community. the fact we have one of the fastest growing and one of the most successful environment -- i mean, the fracktevists --

>> they're in my inbox.

>> you know, look, four years ago in new york state, we heard you're never going to stop that. the citizens of new york state stopped the fracking industry in new york state. we stopped it in the upper delaware basin . we have bans in pittsburgh, bans all over towns in pennsylvania and in new york and in new mexico. we saw californians against fracking get launched a few weeks ago. they have 100 organizations signed on in the first six months. what this is is this is really a test of our democracy. we know we have the poll numbers in new york . people understand this. in pennsylvania , i just, the latest poll, 2/3 of pennsylvanians are in support of a moratorium on fracking.

>> wow.

>> what we don't have, and this is what this film examines right now is democracy.

>> we don't have a political system equipped to transfer that opinion into policy because of the amount of money on the table in terms of fossil fuel . josh fox, director of " gas lamp part 2 ." it premieres on hbo monday july 8th at 8:00 p.m .

>> thanks so much, chris.