Mark Ruffalo, Fracking Foe

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Actor Mark Ruffalo is busy these days getting to smash things and save the world as the Incredible Hulk in the upcoming movie The Avengers. But even though he can’t turn huge and green to show it, there’s one thing that really makes him angry: fracking.

Last week the Natural Resources Defense Council released a video wherein Ruffalo and some fellow New York actors confess that they “love their New York water,” and ask the state to hold off on allowing the controversial natural gas extraction method known as “fracking” at a proposed site in the Marcellus Shale formation in southern New York.

Ruffalo lives near the Delaware River, and has been closely following the issue for three years, he said, after he took a trip to a town in Pennsylvania where fracking was taking place and saw “a community completely torn apart.”

“At first [fracking] looked like a really wonderful thing,” he said, referring to its ability to effectively tap huge reserves of relatively clean-burning natural gas. President Obama has become a proponent of natural gas drilling, and the EPA estimates that shale gas, the kind that would come from the Marcellus formation, will comprise 20 percent of the total US gas supply by 2020. However, Ruffalo is quick to add that he quickly “started to see a lot of really ugly things.”

Things like drinking water with 1,500 times the allowed amount of benzine, which has been linked to leukemia.

Things like homeowners who are advised to turn on fans while showering, lest their houses explode.

Things like undiluted radioactive wastewater in rivers.

Enter Ruffalo. Watch him rail against fracking (and unsuccesfully attempt to fly fish) here:

 

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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