Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s Misleading Fracking Claim

ocasio-cortez, misleading, fracking, claimRep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez suggested to her millions of Twitter followers that a “fracking” site she visited was releasing toxic emissions, but experts pointed out that the site is not even fracking, and the video she tweeted about caught heat signatures—not emissions.

Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., visited Colorado on Saturday to attend Boulder County’s Truman dinner and headlined a Green New Deal event at Boulder High School. On that same day, she visited a “fracking” site in Broomfield and tweeted about it.

“I’m in Colorado [with Democrat Rep. Joe Neguse] visiting communities whose air is being poisoned by fracking. What we’re seeing is appalling. Companies are building fracking sites on public lands, across the street from schools + homes. Their toxic emissions are invisible. This camera sees them,” the freshman congresswoman wrote.

Included in her tweet was a video of the fracking facility, along with an infrared camera that, she suggested, caught toxins emanating from the site. The tweet has since garnered over 13,000 retweets.

However, oil and gas experts who spoke to The Daily Caller News Foundation confirmed that the images caught on Ocasio-Cortez’s infrared camera were just heat signatures, not toxic emissions. In fact, they also noted that no fracking is even taking place at this particular site.

“Statements regarding an infrared (FLIR) video tweeted by Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez yesterday evening are categorically false. In the short video, the congresswoman claimed to see ‘toxic emissions’ through a camera and stated that the air was being ‘poisoned’ by oil and gas development. In reality, the operations she was viewing have been lauded as among the best anywhere in the United States for their management practices and facility designs that protect air quality, public health and the environment,” Brian Cain, a spokesman for Extraction Oil & Gas, said to The Daily Caller News Foundation on Monday.

“Using an infrared camera, the Congresswoman claimed to see ‘invisible emissions,’ when she was actually witnessing a heat signature caused by high-temperature (200-plus degrees) synthetic drilling mud being circulated to the surface against cooler fall temperatures in Broomfield,” Cain continued. “In fact, the camera angle used in the video viewed an area of our site that does not even include a possible source for the types of emissions being claimed.”

The rig is actually electric, which plugs into the grid, and is able to operate almost silently. Around the clock air monitoring is conducted in Broomfield, and all air results are consistently “well below any levels of concern,” according to Cain.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Association confirmed that no hydraulic fracturing was taking place in Ocasio-Cortez’s video. Fracking, it added, does not take place until after the hole is drilled and rig work is finished. A spokesman for the association also noted that there can be confusion regarding infrared imaging.

“A Forward-Looking Infrared Radar (FLIR) camera like the one being used in the video can identify emissions, but it also picks up thermal differentials, such as heat, so it’s very important that whoever is using the camera is trained to understand and identify the various elements within the image itself,” Colorado Oil and Gas Association spokesman Scott Prestidge said Monday to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The image may be black and white, but understanding the shades of gray is pretty important.”

Chris Wright, CEO of Liberty Oilfield Services, examined the video and also confirmed that no fracking was taking place.

“The video is of a drilling rig. There is indeed no fracking (hydraulic fracturing) going on at that location. They mention volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) in the video. I suggest they point their same device at a brewery or bakery to see similar levels of emissions if they do indeed have an highly sensitive camera,” Wright said to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

It was a Democrat who appears to have been the first to point out Ocasio-Cortez’s misleading claim.

“Interesting video, but [Ocasio-Cortez,] there is no fracking occurring at the site as shown and no way to determine compliance or lack thereof with CO air standards. As Dems, we do ourselves no favors when we ignore science and facts. Happy to discuss energy and the West any time,” Mary Throne, a Wyoming Democratic public service commissioner, wrote in response to Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet.

A request for comment was not returned by Ocasio-Cortez’s office in time for publication.

Reprinted with permission from - The Daily Signal - by Jason Hopkins

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1 year ago

This is my opinion and yes the comments that follow are my opinion. Since we have space to reply with an this is mine……. In response to the article above and then some…….
It’s a disgrace that some freshman senators lack self reflection and the discipline of researching facts. AOC, this very young naive child, continues to make comments out of ignorance that the general public Takes as Truth. On the Senate floor she questions those who have more years of experience and expertise in their careers, than she has had years out of middle school. She uses phrases such as “isn’t it tru that…..” and “didn’t you sign this….” To try to back someone in a corner like some well seasoned attorney. She lacks the skills background knowledge, and experience to act like she has well researched the topic. The truth of the matter is that when the experts reply to what she believes are logical facts in her mind, they don’t skip a beat and reply with facts that stops her like a deer in headlights. She hasn’t learned that that she’s not clever and her lack of Insight and critical thinking is an embarrassment. But she has the following of those who know less than she does and believe what she says. It’s not just this one time as sited above….it’s over and over. She’s Consistent , however It’s easy to get people to follow you when they know less than you about most things, the underlying agenda is far from the topic at hand, and they are never encouraged listen to the other side….just fear it. Her self importance keeps her from healthy self reflection, such as perhaps there is something to learn from those who know more than I do or have a different view, and forming opinions based on fact. But today opinions are masked as the truth, but they are just that – opinions. This is where we find ourselves today. Truth, honesty and healthy disagreements that could at one time invite a Potential conversation of mutual understanding with the possibility of positive outcomes or at least mutual respect, have turned into selfish self centered hypocrisy and hidden agenda. The selfishness masked in I care…..and this is good for……make the doer feel good at the cost of everyone else including their followers. Everyone does not get a trophy and it’s ok to be disappointed because your team lost. Our parents and grandparents had no safe place and no coloring book to make them feel better when life didn’t go as planned. They had to learn and figure things out – work. The political commercials on TV have a whole new agenda – character assassination because one team lost an election. This is dangerous and in my opinion magnifies the strength and commitment of our President who continues to strive to make things bette. He just keeps moving forward every day in spite of the insanity and get things DONE. America Wake up, stop sleep walking, get the facts, form critically well thought out opinions backed up with real facts and Vote vote vote. What we are seeing happening is not some TV drama – it’s real. To borrow a quote about the current political climate from someone who knows more about a lot of things than I do…….” I feel like I’m eavesdropping in an insane asylum” . This All scares me ….Vote!!!!

1 year ago

AOC, you’re not in Colorado, you’re in the Twilight Zone. You’re lying to Americans non stop. Guess what, we’re not as stupid as you! See you at the corner bar after the elections, but don’t expect a tip.

1 year ago

Nothing new here. AOC shoots off her ignorant mouth, someone with actual knowledge refutes AOC’s claims, her office refuses further comment, and the fake news ignores the facts. Same old stuff. She gets lots of free publicity, and her non thinking followers do a little happy dance, and off she goes to the next non-cause. I have a hard time watching the news any more. Oh yeah, and all the blame will land on President Trumps doorstep! Blame for a made up cause that doesn’t actually exist. Amazing!!!!!!

1 year ago

She’s extremely monolithic about her visions bulldozing her way to conclusions as if nothing matters particularly not the people involved. Naturally she’s going to offend Democrats as well as Republicans since her eyes are trained on a prize so she just demolishes anything that keeps her from her destination. “The ends justify the means..” (N. Machiavelli. The Prince) and Malcolm X “by any means necessary..’ This is a simplistic autocratic way of dealing with idealistic predetermination and is simplistic to the point of idiocy.. Surely in a perfect World some of the issues could be addressed but there are more pressing problems that are achievable in our life-time.

Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

She’s just a liar!

Jacob I Metzger
1 year ago

In the above info you people could not even get the location right. You are total phonies . The location was Broomfield not what you said.

Jacob I Metzger
1 year ago

Whoever listens to this high school freshman deserves what they get.