Actor Mark Ruffalo has reportedly been placed on a terror advisory list by Pennsylvania officials after publicly criticizing natural gas drilling. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Ruffalo told GQ magazine that the Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security put him on such a list after he organized screenings for “Gasland,” an HBO documentary about a type of natural gas extraction called hydraulic fracturing. “[It's] pretty f**kin’ funny,” Ruffalo, 43, told the magazine about the idea that he might be a security threat.
Officials aren’t laughing, though. Maria A. Smith, a spokesperson with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (which oversees the state homeland security office), told the Philadelphia Inquirer, “His name is not in any of our bulletins … There is no list, we never even had a list.”
Curious about what he could have said to cause such controversy? When Need to Know sat down with Ruffalo in August, he told us how he, musician Pete Seeger and a group of environmentalists had pushed a bill to stop drilling through the New York State Senate. The legislation was a major victory, he told NTK, because “everyone presumed that thing was dead.” He also talked about why the issue is so important to him, saying, “It’s a battle that’s happening in rural areas. The reason I know about this is because I live there and this is where I’m raising my family.”
On Tuesday, the New York State Assembly approved the bill. The measure, which will halt new fracking projects until May 2011, awaits the signature of Gov. David Patterson.