UPDATE: Conservation Colorado blasts Gov. John Hickenlooper in a statement a short while ago:
Conservation Colorado Deputy Director Carrie Curtiss released the following statement on Governor Hickenlooper’s comments in front of a U.S. Senate Energy and Environment Committee today:
"Looks like Governor Hickenlooper really drank the frack-aid on this one. We're astounded that Governor Hickenlooper would use a national platform to give the impression that frack fluid is safe for public health. The industry has a track record of misleading the public about the fact that its fracking fluid contains numerous toxic chemicals. These chemicals – include cancer causing benzene and diesel, as well as dozens of other dangerous compounds. Rather than implying to a national audience that there is nothing to fear, his energy would be better spent protecting public health back home."
Try to contain your apoplexy while the Washington Times reports from today's testimony before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee:
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper went to unusually great lengths to learn firsthand the strides the oil and gas industry has made to minimize environmental harm from fracking.
The first-term Democrat and former Denver mayor told a Senate committee on Tuesday that he actually drank a glass of fracking fluid produced by oilfield services giant Halliburton.
The fluid is made entirely "of ingredients sourced from the food industry," the company says, making it safe for Mr. Hickenlooper and others to imbibe.
"You can drink it. We did drink it around the table, almost rituallike, in a funny way," he told the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. "It was a demonstration. … they've invested millions of dollars in what is a benign fluid in every sense."
As we've explained before when energy-cozy Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper has claimed that one can drink "fracking" fluid, by all accounts he was drinking a product called CleanStim. CleanStim is indeed marketed as using ingredients "sourced from the food industry," and Halliburton makes much of the ability of willing politicians, and even Halliburton executives, to consume (presumably small) amounts of the fluid without injury.
Unfortunately, as we have noted and a Denver Business Journal reporter found when she asked the question, there is little evidence to indicate that CleanStim is being used anywhere in Colorado–let alone required to be used in place of any number of other proprietary brews, like whatever it was that a drill rig worker came into a Durango hospital drenched with that almost killed his attending nurse. In the absence of hard figures detailing the actual commercial use of CleanStim–or more importantly, the extent to which it is not used–claiming that all "fracking" is safe, because Hickenlooper took a swig of this one brand-new kind of "fracking" fluid, is well beyond merely deceptive. Gov. Hickenlooper is doing the concerned citizens of this state, and around the country taking part in the contentious debate over "fracking" happening in so many places today, a profound disservice.