Mark Ruffalo, Fracking Foe

gdcgraphics/flickr


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:

 

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.