Wednesday, July 23, 2014
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"Gasland" Director Wants Pa. Official Fired For Nazi Crack

State Rep. Josh Shapiro, an Abington Democrat, is calling on Gov. Corbett to condemn remarks made last week by a state official who compared the documentary film Gasland to the work of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. Teddy Borawski, chief oil and gas geologist for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources said the documentary about drilling for natural gas would have made Goebbels proud.

"Gasland" Director Wants Pa. Official Fired For Nazi Crack

Josh Fox standing in a stream near Dimock, Pa., where residents´ animals began to lose their hair after drilling started, presumably from drinking contaminated water. It is part of "Gasland."
Josh Fox standing in a stream near Dimock, Pa., where residents' animals began to lose their hair after drilling started, presumably from drinking contaminated water. It is part of "Gasland."

State Rep. Josh Shapiro, an Abington Democrat, is calling on Gov. Corbett to condemn remarks made last week by a state official who compared the documentary film Gasland to the work of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.  Teddy Borawski, chief oil and gas geologist for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources said the documentary about drilling for natural gas would have made Goebbels proud.

Gasland director Josh Fox called Borawski's comments "absolutely outrageous" and demanded that Corbett fire him.  Fox added that his father and paternal grandparents are Holocaust survivors.

"Does this guy even know what a Nazi is?" Fox asked. "Does he know what they did? I can't even describe how wrong this is."

Borawski today declined to comment on Shapiro's call for Corbett to condemn the remarks and "take appropriate action" against him.  Shapiro made his demands in an e-mail yesterday to Annmarie Kaiser, Corbett's secretary for legislative affairs, that he circulated to the media.

More coverage
 
Corbett official compares "Gasland" to Nazi propaganda
 
Corbett stacks commission on Marcellus Shale with campaign supporters, natural gas allies
 
The give-and-take of natural gas
 
Corbett's fracker-in-chief
 
How Corbett fracked Pa.'s middle class
 
PA will be tax-free 'Texas of gas': Gov. Corbett

Borawski was quoted in the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal, speaking to the Pennsylvania Dutch Chapter of the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters Association, about drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale region of the state.  You can read the full article here.

Here's the part that set off Shapiro:

Borawski, who has been involved with oil drilling on the Gulf Coast, was asked about the recent documentary "Gasland," an Academy Award-nominated documentary made partially in Pennsylvania that portrays drilling as harmful to the environment and residents.

"Joseph Goebbels would have been proud," Borawski replied. "He would have given him the Nazi Award. That, in my opinion, was a beautiful piece of propaganda."

Gasland is a cross-country travelogue of his look at the potential dangers of "fracking," the process in which gas drillers inject water and chemicals into shale formations to break them up and release trapped natural gas.  The film included scenes where people in Pennsylvania could light on fire their tap water after fracking occurred near their homes.

Borawski's comments are sure to fuel the continuing debate on whether to tax gas drillers in Pennsylvania.  Corbett, who received $835,720 from drillers in his run for governor, has insisted that the industry should not pay a state severance tax.

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Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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