Recent events have obligated us to take a more editorial tone than usual. It's time to speak up.
The Durango Herald's Joe Hanel reports today, following up on this week's story from Washington of Gov. John Hickenlooper's testimony before a U.S. Senate committee in favor of local regulation of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" for oil and natural gas. Wherein, if you haven't been paying attention, Hickenlooper repeated his now-familiar line about having drunk fracking fluid without ill effects.
Gov. John Hickenlooper said media outlets took him out of context when he told a U.S. Senate committee this week that he drank hydraulic-fracturing fluid…
“We sat down with executives from Halliburton. They have a frack fluid that’s made out of food additives. You can drink it. We did drink it around the table, almost ritual-like, in a funny way,” Hickenlooper said.
He went on to say that Colorado wrote its rules to protect Halliburton’s intellectual property.
“If we were overly zealous in forcing them to disclose what they created, they wouldn’t bring it into our state,” Hickenlooper said.
The biggest problem, as we've noted every time Hickenlooper has publicly talked about drinking fracking fluid–they haven't brought what he drank "to our state" at all. Hickenlooper admitted yesterday, as he did way down below the fold in his email to campaign supporters this week, that nobody should be drinking the fluid which is actually being pumped into the ground in Colorado today.
Halliburton is not using the safe-to-drink frack fluid right now because it’s too expensive, he said Thursday. [Pols emphasis]
“I don’t think there’s any frack fluid right now that I’m aware of that people are using commercially that you want to drink,” Hickenlooper said.
Video from his testimony shows Hickenlooper did not mention that the safe frack fluid was not being used in Colorado because of cost.
No, he didn't. In fact, Hickenlooper gave no indication that the fluid he drank was not actually used in oil and gas production operations, in Colorado or anywhere else, other than claiming it is a new product–which it isn't. The "fracking" fluid in question, Halliburton's CleanStim, excluding the tests to develop it, might actually be drunk by willing politicians and Halliburton executives more than it is pumped into the ground.
Do you remember the last big "you can drink frack fluid" brouhaha for Hickenlooper? Remember what he said?
You can eat this–the CEO of Halliburton took a big swig of this thing. And not to be outdone, I took a swig of it myself.
Do you see any disclaimer in that statement that the fluid Hickenlooper drank is not actually used commercially? Do you see any admission, as he made above but for some reason only the Durango Herald has seen fit to cover, that "I don’t think there’s any frack fluid that people are using commercially that you would want to drink?"
Of course not. Because he didn't make that admission. And he didn't in front of the Senate Energy and Natural Resoucres Committee, either. And after these repeated incidents, we come to an inescapable conclusion:
Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, one of the most popular governors in the state's history, is knowingly misleading the public about the safety of hydraulic fracturing. He is exploiting his personal popularity, party affiliation, and cozy press relations to get away with it.
And for the sake of everyone in
Colorado America wrestling with the issue of oil and gas exploration, it has to stop.