That wasn’t a typo, fracking is a real thing, and Ruffalo recently held a panel on it called, “Fracking and Its Effects: A Panel Discussion,” that drew a 300 plus crowd, including “Gasland” director, Josh Fox.
So, just what the frack is fracking? Well, it’s also known as hydraulic fracturing, and it involves injecting chemicals, sand, and millions of gallons of water into shale rock in order to retrieve natural gas. The injected shale is then shattered, which releases the trapped gas. Only problem is that when the gas comes to the surface, water comes along with it, and that water is often poisoned with dangerous, carcinogenic chemicals.
The reason why this is totally scary is that people who have drank water near fracking sites have suffered liver, heart, and respiratory failure, along with rare forms of cancer. Oh, and cows have just plain dropped dead from it. Scary!
In an exclusive interview with the Huffington Post, Ruffalo opened up about why he held the panel. “I’m basically here to inform New Yorkers about the attack that’s taking place on their water,” he said.
“Our energy use has gotten so out of control,” he continued. “Either we’re going to go with some grace into green energy, or we’re gonna go kicking and screaming, but we’re going by God. The world is already leaving us behind. We’re being left behind. America. Because the gas and oil industry has a strangle hold on us. And our politicians.”
Luckily, Ruffalo isn’t the only one up in arms about this issue, as seen by the turnout to his panel, which was also in support of an initiative called Exit Art, a group that supports activism against drilling. According to them, activists are calling for a ban on drilling, and trying to change the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which exempts fracking from the Safe Drinking Water Act— effectively removing any liability from the gas industry.
Ruffalo has been extremely outspoken about this issue, even getting tacked onto a terrorist watch list last year for it, but he had advice for readers looking to get involved, “Get educated, go to NYH20, go to CatskillMountainKeeper.com, go to Damascus Citizens, go to ‘Gasland.’ See ‘Gasland.’ Educating yourself is probably the greatest thing you can do for yourself and your children.”
We couldn’t agree more.