Steve Lipsky sued Range Resources in 2011 after an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) order ruled that the energy company endangered Texas residents’ health with its fracking by contaminating their water supply.
A huge part of Lipsky's lawsuit was based on him lighting his water hose on fire via his water well in video footage on YouTube (below) and in the Oscar-winning film documentary Gasland.
However, Lipsky's lawsuit was thrown out because a judge didn't buy the claim of the fire coming from Lipsky's water hose being attached to a water line.
Now, Range Resources is suing Lipsky for defamation because he publicly claimed the company was contaminating his ground water supply with methane and benzene via fracking, reports DeSmogBlog.com.
Range Resources claims that Lipsky and other people somehow conspired to get “the EPA and the media to wrongly label and prosecute Range as a polluter of the environment.”
The company said Lipsky could not cause fire to come from the water hose and that the hose pictured in the video "is not a water hose at all, but is used solely for the purpose of venting gas."
In 2012, Judge Trey Loftin ruled that Lipsky attached a hose to his water well's gas vent, not to a water line, and then lit the gas from the hose's nozzle, notes the Star-Telegram.
"This demonstration was not done for scientific study but to provide local and national news media a deceptive video, calculated to alarm the public into believing the water was burning," wrote Judge Loftin.
Range Resources is now seeking $4.2 million in actual damages, plus unspecified punitive damages.
However, Parker County Fire Marshal Shawn Scott claimed in 2012 that the hose was hooked up to the water line.
"Mr. Lipsky turned on the valve at the top of the wellhead and said, 'Watch this,'" Scott told The Dallas Observer. Water gushed from the wellhead. A few flicks of a lighter, and water and flame poured forth together."
The investment group Trillium recently slammed Range Resources for it's lack of disclosure in a company press release:
Trillium believes that the company's current level of disclosure related to methane leakage is woefully inadequate.
...The company's response is in sharp contrast to some industry peers that appear ready to address the issue of fugitive methane emissions and work with its shareholders.
Back in 2011, CBS Dallas-Fort Worth reported that Range Resources Matt Pitzarella said, "We have several former psy-ops [psychic-operations] folks that work for us at Range, because they’re very comfortable dealing with localized issues and local governments."