A closer look at those in power who are friendly to the fracking industry (Part 1 of 3)


When Tisha Conoly-Schuller of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association said the way to make fracking cool was to get the fracking community on Facebook, it served as a reminder that there are some interesting friends of fracking out there. While the general Facebook page for the frackers is making its way around the Internet, thanks to our friends over at the Huffington Post, when you look closely at it you may find familiar names.


Today, in the first of three profiles, we take a closer look at fracking friend John Hickenlooper who serves as the Governor of Colorado. The popular Hickenlooper is not exactly on of fracking’s BFFs. On the surface Hickenlooper has been a steady supporter of the aggressive development of gas supplies through fracking. As recently as mid October Hickenlooper went out of his way to defend the practice of hydraulic fracturing in Colorado.

During an interview with The Daily Sentinel, Hickenlooper touted fracking in the Centennial State.  He acknowledged that the practice causes accidents but said he’s okay with it as long as the state can levy fines. “If they keep doing it, we should raise the fines. At some point it will get their attention,” he said. Hickenlooper’s trustworthy approach to the gas industry goes back a bit further than his recent interview with the Sentinel. In August, a right-leaning website, ColoradoPeakPolitics.com, showcased the democratic governor as a fracking champion after Hickenlooper proclaimed it was “inconceivable” for fracking to cause ground water contamination. This fact directly contradicts findings in Garfield Colorado where a scientist found measurable amounts of methane in the West Divide Creek, near several fracking sited. After Hickenlooper’s comments, ColoradoPeakPolitics.com could not have been clearer about the blow Hickenlooper was delivering to the pro-safe drinking water community. “Take that New York Times. Take that Gasland. Take that radical tree-hugging anti-drilling environmental wackos,” wrote the site.

Now, Hickenlooper hasn’t been all pro-fracking all the time. Even though he has been heavily funded by the gas industry, including a party thrown for him shorty after his inauguration by Encana, the governor has steadfastly supported disclosure rules for the toxic fracking fluids used in the process.

So perhaps if Hickenlooper and fracking were to be in a Facebook relationship it would be filed under “it’s complicated.” Nonetheless, the two are clearly friendly.