To get the context of this, you should take the next 4:42 to watch the video of the exchange between Stuart Varney and Gasland producer Josh Fox. In it, Fox calls Varney a liar and you will see how Stuart keeps his composure as he abruptly terminates the interview. Watch this, and then let’s discuss a few key points:
For one, Josh Fox appears like he just came out of a three-day campout looking for methane water. I have been on that same set with Stuart several times, and would not have the gall to show up looking like that. For one, it’s disrespectful. Stuart’s studio is in midtown Manhattan and Stuart himself is a well-respected journalist cut from traditional cloth. He has had a distinguished career with CNN, CNBC and now Fox Business. Stuart is sharp, witty and ahead of you in the interview. He deserves the respect of someone appearing on his set in proper, respectful attire that complements his image and that of the show.
Next, Josh Fox claims the EPA is double faced and the Obama administration supports fracking. Let me say after innumerable meetings with pro-energy politicians, I can say with certainty that the Obama administration disdains fracking and is basically tolerating it because they know to further impair it would be political and economic suicide.
One Congressman who has been with the President on several occasions told me that Mr. Obama is a staunch environmentalist who would do away with all hydrocarbons tomorrow if he realistically could. The President is likely paving his future as a spokesperson and highly paid consultant for the environmentalist movement once he’s finally out of office. The tracks are certainly being laid in that direction.
The EPA report states:
“We did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States.”
If the Obama Administration’s EPA had any viable, probable, conclusive evidence with which to slam hydraulic fracturing, they would have. But they didn’t.
This report basically discredits all of the claims Josh Fox presented in Gasland (which had already been debunked extensively by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association http://cogcc.state.co.us/Announcements/Hot_Topics/Hydraulic_Fracturing/GASLAND%20DOC.pdf)
With his movie hanging in the lurch of governmental discrediting, Josh Fox appeared on Stuart Varney’s show trying to say the EPA is speaking out of both sides of its mouth, and that the President support fracking. Hogwash.
But the interview turned nasty when Josh Fox blatantly accused Stuart Varney of lying. As you saw from the clip, Stuart Varney owns property in New York in a watershed area. When he was buying the property a dozen years ago, the neighbors joked about being able to light the water on fire, and Varney says he gave it a try. That’s good enough for me. Knowing Stuart’s curiosity and his interest in fracking, I’m certain that he did. He’s an inquisitive journalist, after all.
Sorry to burst your bubble Josh, but this is something our first President also did, not too far from the area in question. That’s right, George Washington and Thomas Paine lit surface water on fire in 1783 at the Millstone River in New Jersey. Paine documented it in his writings.
Evidently, there was a reenactment of this in the same area, and I wish I knew the outcome of whether that same body of water was ignitable or not today.
Here’s my main issue with how Josh Fox handled this. It’s more of a psychological analysis than a scientific one, because we already know what the facts on fracking support.
It is a well-established fundamental element of human behavior that we generally project onto others what we are dealing with ourselves. In other words, if a wife yells at her husband for being lazy, guess what? If a parent yells at their kids for having a messy room, guess what?
For Josh Fox to accuse Stuart Varney of being a liar. Guess what?
Especially from the producer of a movie and a sequel that have been proven to be full of mistruths, misrepresentations, exaggerations, and sensationalism. Analyzed and rebutted by third party facts, not a bunch of sensational and emotional garbage.
So while Josh Fox deals with his own psychological justifications for his work, he will certainly have to find another pulpit because I’m confident of one thing: Varney & Company on Fox Business is now and forevermore closed to Josh Fox.
Written by: Chris Faulkner, CEO of Breitling Energy Corporation and author of the recent book, “The Fracking Truth.” He is also the producer of the documentary, “Breaking Free: The Shale Rock Revolution.”