House science subcommittee chairman Congressman Andy Harris today ordered the arrest of film producer Andy Fox of “Gasland” fame, the 2010 HBO documentary that challenged the safety of hydraulic fracking, to prevent him from filming today’s hearings on the practice of pumping fluids deep into rock formations to release natural gas.

Specifically, the committee is probing the December Environmental Protection Agency report that fracking fluids from a gas field near Pavillion, WY, contaminated the drinking water supply of people living in western Wyoming.

Under House rules, the Maryland Republican has the discretion to bar cameras from hearings. Ranking Democrat Brad Motion asked for a motion to overturn the rules to allow the filming. He was squashed.

From a PR standpoint, Harris only drew more attention to Fox, who was hauled away in handcuffs from the “People’s House” by Capitol Police and charged with unlawful entry. Footage of Harris’ arrest will surely be included in the Gasland sequel that he is working on. He can thank Harris for that rich material. A film crew contracted by ABC News also was barred from doing its work.

The Congressman is an ardent supporter of the shale gas industry and no friend of the EPA. In his opening statement, he noted that the shale gas industry supported 600,000 jobs in 2010 and helped increase production to save the U.S. $16B in home energy cost.

He blasted the EPA’s “fractured science,” and ripped its Pavillion investigation as “yet another example of politics trumping policy and advocacy trumping science.” Harris dismissed President Obama’s support for expanded shale gas production as a “remarkable display of arrogance and disregard for the plain facts.” The Congressman said every part of the Obama administration attacks shale oil production though “scientific innuendo and regulatory straight-jacketing.”

I hope Harris patches things up with Fox.

The Congressman would be great contributor to Gasland II.

(Photo: Earthworks)