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.
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.