Four days after Colorado experienced an earthquake inside a fracking operation, and one day after the state experienced a fracking fluid leak from an oil well, the state’s Governor, John Hickenlooper (D), attempted to prove that the process of splitting open the earth to find natural gas was safe, by claiming he drank a glass of the fluid that is used in the process.
Fracking fluids consist primarily of water, but they contain between three and 12 additive chemicals. Hickenlooper was apparently unfazed by the mystery chemicals, which he was told were “sourced from the food industry” (like pink slime?).
Hickenlooper regaled his story of ingesting fracking fluid to a Senate committee. From Raw Story:
“We did drink it around the table, almost ritual-like, in a funny way,” Hickenlooper said at a Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing on Tuesday. “They’ve invested millions of dollars in what is a benign fluid in every sense.”
Hickenlooper’s cocktail was provided by Halliburton’s oil division. Halliburton, along with the Environmental Defense Fund, has come together in support of Colorado’s fracking disclosure rules, which requires that oil and gas companies disclose the chemicals used in fracking.
The oil and gas industry played a significant role in Hickenlooper’s election campaign in 2010, but more significantly, energy plays a big role in Colorado’s economy. In a state with plenty of sunshine and pockets of wind, green energy industries are a natural fit, but the Centennial State has suffered its share of setbacks in green energy.
This isn’t the first time Hickenlooper has come to the defense of fracking. A year ago, he did an ad for the industry, saying (from Think Progress):
Hi, this is Governor John Hickenlooper. In 2008, Colorado passed tough oil and gas rules. Since then we have not had one instance of groundwater contamination associated with drilling and hydraulic fracturing. And we plan to keep it that way. That’s why Colorado recently passed the toughest—and fairest—hydraulic fracturing disclosure rule in the nation. In Colorado, we’ve proven that industry and the conservation community can come together to solve problems. We can create jobs, promote energy security, and protect our environment. [Brought to you by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association.]
Here’s the audio:
Oil and gas are an almost guaranteed source of both revenue and jobs for Colorado, much to the disappointment of advocates of cleaner forms of energy. From the Denver Post:
“Oil and gas is subsidized; nuclear is subsidized,” (Blake Jones, President of Namaste Solar) said. “The playing field needs to be leveled in order to support the solar industry during its maturation phase. I do believe we’ll reach a point where unsubsidized solar can compete with other technologies.”
Alternet put together a list of four horrifying dangers of fracking, which includes significant and radioactive pollution as a result of fracking and the fluid.
Hickenlooper isn’t the only Democrats singing the praises of natural gas. President Obama has consistently touted the energy source as clean and as a way to wean ourselves from foreign oil.
|Wendy Gittleson grew up in a political family. Her passion is for social justice and fairness. She is the Senior Editor for Addicting Info. She lives in a union household. In her rare downtime, you’ll find her hiking or exploring the shoreline with her dogs. Follow her on her Facebook page or on Twitter, @wendygittleson|