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Gov. Drinks Fracking Fluid: John Hickenlooper Admits Drinking Fracking Fluid to a U.S. Senate Committee

Travelers Today       By    Lena Vazifdar

Updated: Feb 14, 2013 05:29 PM EST

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Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said he drank fracking fluid to a U.S. Senate committee. He admitted the incident when he testified that the staes and not the federal government should lead in the regulation of natural gas production, reported The Denver Post.

 "You can drink it. We did drink it around the table, almost ritual-like, in a funny way," Hickenlooper said before the Senate Committee reported The Huffington Post.

The governor added that it wasn't "tasty" but, "I'm still alive."

Hydraulic fracturing is a process which includes injecting water, chemicals and sand underground at high pressures to release natural gas.

"Hickenlooper is not the first person to have claimed to drink fracking fluid. A report by the Associated Press in 2011 said that Halliburton Co. CEO Dave Lesar offered up a company executive to demonstrate the safety of theirnew fracking fluid recipe CleanStim, by drinking it during a keynote speech at a conference held by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association," reported The Huffington Post.

Halliburton says on its website that "CleanStim fluid system should not be considered edible."

The AP reported that during a keynote lunch speech during a conference hosted by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, CEO of Halliburton Dave Lesar talked about the hydraulic fracturing. He said the fracking fluid was made from materials that came from the food industry and called upon an executive to drink it, to prove how safe it was.

The executive took a sip.

"What he drank was apparently CleanStim, which when Halliburton announced it in November was undergoing field trials," reported the AP.

Environmental Defense Fund's Mark Brownstein who as at the presentation said,  "I thought if this stuff was so benign, why wouldn't the CEO drink it himself? That frankly was my first though. My second thought, more seriously, is on the one hand, I'm pleased to see Halliburton is taking steps to remove toxic chemicals from hydraulic fracturing fluid. I wonder why if they have this technology why it wouldn't become standard practice.

I also do in some ways think the stunt is very much indicative of the problem the industry has in assuring the public that they are in fact taking public concerns seriously," Brownstein said. "Because quite honestly, a homeowner in Pennsylvania doesn't have the option of having an underling drink his water. He has to do it himself."

The AP reported that approximately 90 percent of wells in the U.S. are fracked.

"The thing I took away is the industry is stepping up to plate and taking these concerns seriously," Colorado State University environmental engineering professor Ken Carlson said to the AP, "Halliburton is showing they can get the same economic benefits or close to that by putting a little effort into reformulating the fluids."

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