Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) told a Senate committee that he drank a glass of fracking fluid as a way to illustrate safety advances by the oil and gas industry, the Washington Times reported on Tuesday.
“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 said the fluid was given to him by the oil company Halliburton and was made of “ingredients sourced from the food industry.”
Fracking involves the injection of water, sand and other chemicals into the ground to release fuel from rock formations, a practice that has been criticized by environmental groups in the U.S. and blamed for seismic events in England.
The governor’s endorsement was a continuation of his praise for Halliburton during his State of the State address last month. As The Colorado Independent reported at the time, he applauded the company for supporting a new state law requiring the disclosure of all substances used during fracking.
“When the Environmental Defense Fund and Halliburton stood together in Colorado in support of the state’s new fracking disclosure rule, other states took notice,” he said last month. “It’s another reason why we believe so passionately in the power of partnership and collaboration.”
Yet on Tuesday, he argued such legislation should only go so far.
“If we were overzealous in forcing them to disclose what they had created, they wouldn’t bring it into our state,” he told the committee.