Hillary Clinton is growing cozier with the hydraulic fracturing industry, just months after she promised to heavily regulate it.
The Democratic Party’s presidential candidate attended a $50,000 per place fundraiser in Aspen, Colorado on Tuesday, hosted by fracking magnate Charif Souaki. The event raised $650,000 for the campaign.
As the International Business Times reported, Souaki “amassed his fortune working for natural gas companies including one he founded last year, Tellurian Investments.” A subsidiary of Tellurian, Driftwood LNG, filed for a license in June with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to construct a natural gas export facility in Louisiana.
Hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — refers to a process by which energy, primarily natural gas, is extracted. It involves shooting millions of gallons of water and chemicals into underground shale rock formations, which releases hydrocarbons trapped inside.
Fracking is heavily scrutinized due to concerns about the slurry of chemicals used in the process. The injection of the industrial mixtures into the earth may be contaminating nearby drinking water sources, critics say. Congress passed legislation in 2005 that shields the industry from having to report on the contents of their fracking fluids.
The splitting of rock deep underground has also resulted in increased seismic activity for those living around fracking wells. A study published in May by researchers at the University of Texas concluded that hydraulic fracturing is now the leading cause of earthquakes in the state.
Fracking is also known to release large quantities of methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas and significant contributor to global warming.
During the Democratic primary against Sen. Bernie…