August 13, 2014 8:06 am -

When President Obama told The New York Times over the weekend that too many Republicans deny science, implying that they reject reason and fact-based policies, who knew he’d be vindicated so quickly?

There are more than a few seemingly acceptable ways to defend fracking. Nearly all of these defenses are nearsighted, and some are wrong, but they’re not necessarily insane. However, if your goal is to defend the controversial process of harvesting natural gas using “hydraulic fracturing” or “fracking,” it’s probably a smart idea to avoid defending flammable tap water, a terrible yet iconic consequence of the process.

During the Western Conservative Summit in Denver this week, State Sen. Randy Baumgardner, a Colorado Republican, was asked about fracking by a right-wing activist named Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt. His response?

I’ve been to a lot of the fracking seminars, and if people, they’ve never been and they really don’t understand it. Most of these seminars are free they can go to — they can learn about fracking. They can learn that the myth of, you know what, nine or 11 thousand feet, that fluid is gonna come back to the surface. And since 19 — the 1940s when they first started fracking, there’s never been one recorded incident. They talk about methane in the water and this, that, and the other, but if you go back in history and look at how the Indians traveled, they traveled to the burning waters. And that was methane in the waters and that was for warmth in the wintertime. So a lot of people, if they just trace back the history, they’ll know how a lot of this is propaganda.


What a colossal bucket of horseshit. And what he said was pretty stupid, too. (I’m here all week, folks.)

There’s no historical record showing… CONTINUE READING

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

14 responses to GOP State Senator Defends Fracking: ‘Indians’ Loved ‘The Burning Waters’

  1. fahvel August 13th, 2014 at 8:20 am

    puss for brains.

    • Carla Akins August 13th, 2014 at 8:24 am

      You’re too kind.

    • Larry Schmitt August 13th, 2014 at 8:26 am

      I think you meant pus. I doubt he has a cat for brains, although it would probably do a better job than what he has now.

  2. Tommy6860 August 13th, 2014 at 8:53 am

    I see exposure to him breathing oxygen caused his methane dependent brain to misfire.

  3. labman57 August 13th, 2014 at 9:18 am

    On a par with Bachmann and her scientifically-clueless cohort poo-pooing the impact of man-made carbon emissions on the global climate, because … people exhale and cows fart.

    By the way, arsenic and asbestos are natural as well — that doesn’t make them suitable for human consumption.

  4. R.J. Carter August 13th, 2014 at 9:29 am

    You don’t need to make up stories about Native American history to defend a process that’s been working absolutely fine for the past 60 years.

  5. Shades August 13th, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Here’s an idea. Find a family who can light their water on fire, have them invite Mr. Klingenschmitt over for a demonstration. Then offer him a glass of it to drink… on camera.

    • R.J. Carter August 13th, 2014 at 11:21 am

      I’m still waiting for step one to happen, without a gas hose attached to the side of the faucet.

  6. rg9rts August 13th, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Can’t wait to see what his comment will be when his faucet resembles an F18 afterburner. Truth is you CAN”T put the genie back in the bottle.

    • Bunya August 13th, 2014 at 2:11 pm

      Trust me. He ain’t hanging around to find out. When they start fracking around his house, he’ll sell and move to a safer location.

  7. Jeff Allen August 13th, 2014 at 10:24 am

    I understand the intense debate over fracking, and this guys stupid Native American analogy doesn’t help his defense of the proccess. However, the anti-fracking crowd discredits their own debate when they fail to recognize the truths the other side espouses. Methane is not introduced into the ground by the fracking process and the methane that causes the water to be flammable was there all along. On those points “Dr. Chaps” is correct. On the issue of safety, methane is non-toxic, bothersome, but not deadly in any concentration even close to what is being re-routed if at all by fracking. The actual chemistry calculations related to the combustibility of methane bear out that no ones home is going to explode. I am not a fracking proponent, nor anti-fracking, but it is likely that most of these folks have been able to light their water long before fracking came along and in some rare cases, cracks caused by fracking re-directed existing escape routes for the naturally occurring gas may have introduced levels of methane higher than previous levels. I live in an area with high levels of naturally occurring sulfur in the water table. In the areas of high concentration, tap water is flammable. In most areas, the stench of rotten eggs can be off-putting. People who rely on well water have used a myriad of ways through the decades to deal with sulfur water.
    If anti-frackers want to use the existence of chemicals not indigenous to the area being introduced by fracking and ending up in the drinking water, then by all means, we should have that debate. But the whole flaming water trick does nothing to further the cause when there are legitimate issues to be addressed…..and right-wingers are science deniers?

    • arc99 August 13th, 2014 at 10:56 am

      The question is simple. Does fracking increase the possibility that people will be poisoned or otherwise harmed by the water they drink? Simply because some people have had flammable water in the past is hardly an argument for continuing and expanding the causes. Using that logic, let’s just scrap our municipal sewer systems and throw our waste in the street.

      Even if methane is not a toxin in the sense that it will kill you, a persistent headache or nausea is not a price I want to pay or have anyone else pay.

      And I fail to see how pointing out flammable tap water created as a result of man-made activity is a “trick”. Water that we consume should not be flammable. Simply because some people have had to live with it as a fact of life does not in any way convince me that we need to increase the number of households which can perform this “trick”.

      I would also add that while you make a decent argument, dismissing peoples’ concerns as a trick does not change any minds.

      • Jeff Allen August 13th, 2014 at 11:14 am

        I am not dismissing it (if folks never had methane in their water, and do now and it can be directly attributed to fracking then it should be mitigated), I am simply stating that fracking may have a myriad of issues that we should be concerned about…the man made chemicals injected in the process, the actual fracturing of large chunks of the undersurface creating fissures that may or may not destabilize areas prone to mantle shifts, etc. The lighting of flammable water that has been around ever since we started digging wells to get water is emotionally appealing to the lowest common denominator of the audience and akin to snake oil sales tactics.

    • arc99 August 13th, 2014 at 11:01 am

      and yes, as illustrated in the article, right wingers are anti science. perhaps not a majority, but a distressingly large minority.