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Climate Destruction, Pipeline Struggles, And Squandered Opportunities: Interview With Filmmaker Josh Fox

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Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola are joined by Josh Fox, the Oscar-nominated director of “Gasland” and “How to Let Go of the World and Love All The Things Climate Can’t Change.” He was also part of the Democratic Platform Committee proceedings and a surrogate for the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders.

Fox provides a rundown on the thousands of pipeline leaks and disasters in the United States, which have occurred in recent years. He says we are in a “permanent state of criminal negligence. The pipeline industry operates with an enormous amount of destruction.”

He highlights many of the different struggles over pipeline projects, which are ongoing, and how the country came to be dominated by so many pipelines. He also addresses the confirmation of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency and the EPA’s dereliction of duty up to this moment.

“Let’s just face it. Barack Obama squandered the greatest opportunities that we had in the last ten years to make real progress on the environment,” Fox declares. “He had the hugest environmental catastrophe in the history of the United States with the BP oil spill. He had the largest and fastest new section of the environmental movement in history with the fracktivists and the fracking movement.”

“He had the coal mining explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine, which killed dozens of miners. He had the worst nuclear disaster in the world with Fukushima. The man squandered all of these political opportunities he had to gather public opinion and make the push for renewable energy.”

Later in the interview, Fox tells the story of what happened when actress, activist, and friend Susan Sarandon asked him to come on MSNBC’s “All In” with Chris Hayes with her. He was unsure if MSNBC would allow him to come on the show for a segment that went viral because, since working for Sanders in 2016, he was put on some kind of blacklist and not allowed to be on MSNBC shows anymore.

“I was a regular on MSNBC. I was a regular on Chris Hayes’ show. I would go on every couple weeks,” Fox shares. “This was just part of life as me being able to talk about fracking and pipelines and these kinds of things, and I love that. I love that about my life. I loved being able to go on. I loved to talk to Chris. I loved to talk to Larry O’Donnell and the other people at ‘Morning Joe’ or Alex Wagner that would have me on to talk about these issues. And then all of a sudden I became a Bernie Sanders surrogate and the phone stopped ringing.”

According to Fox, Sarandon had to take a stand to get him on air with her during the segment.

In a separately posted discussion, the show’s hosts talk about President Donald Trump’s pledge to go to war against “low-life leakers” in his administration. They express their frustrations over how the media is positioning itself as radical opponents of Trump, when they’re still the same institutions that cozied up to the Obama administration for access. They also talk about whether a person should be allowed to be a trillionaire and highlight the press conference between Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

To listen to the interview with Fox, go here. The episode can also be downloaded from iTunes. Or click on the player at the top of the post to listen to the interview.

For the discussion segment, go here.

Photo credit: Josh Fox in an interview with Public Herald. © Joshua B. Pribanic for Public Herald.

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."