'Avengers' Star Mark Ruffalo: Fracking Is An ‘Illegitimate’ Practice

Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - 12:47 PM

“Avengers” star Mark Ruffalo, a vocal anti-fracking advocate, called the process of extracting natural gas “illegitimate” and described his activism as a “sacrificial act.”

“This is basically an illegitimate mining practice that’s come into popularity without having to withstand the scrutiny of any EPA oversight,” he told WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show Wednesday.

The big natural gas reserve in the Northeast is in the Marcellus Shale, which stretches from about 100 miles northeast of New York City to West Virginia.

Ruffalo, who lives in the Hudson Valley, has been a vocal opponent of the procedure of extracting natural gas known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

He also brushed off criticism that he shouldn’t use his fame as a platform and described his activism as a “sacrificial act.”

“I see it as part of my job,” he said. “This isn’t a cause celebre for me. It’s my life.”

Proponents of fracking say that natural gas offers significant potential benefits for local economies, energy independence, and the environment.

Compared with coal, they say, natural gas produces less greenhouse gases.


More in:

News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Comments [1]

This is a complex issue specifically because so many consumers currently use natural gas for cooking and heating; and because it's really the only available and affordable resource to use. Electric is expensive, solar, wind, and solar hot water are also expensive and inefficient.

We may not agree with fracking, but there is a demand for this resource, the infrastructure and process is already in place, and there is not a viable alternative, so people will be forced to make that choice as oil prices rise.

We need affordable renewable energy now, if we want to avoid the environmental destruction that will ensue in the next two decades.

Apr. 04 2012 01:39 PM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.


"The Capitol Pressroom" with Susan Arbetter at 11 am

For show archives, please visit The Capitol Bureau's website here.

About The Empire

Everything you need to know about New York politics and governance. We aim for a ground-up approach to politics, reverse engineered to make the effect just as important as the players and the game they play. From the Long Island to The Thousand Islands, New York City Hall to the Capitol Building, The Empire's got you covered.

Check out WNYC's 2013 Mayor Tracker--the one-stop shop for info about the candidates, issues and trends in the upcoming New York City mayoral election.


Our Reporters


Supported by