Democrat On AOC Fracking Claim: ‘We Do Ourselves No Favors When We Ignore Science’

From The Daily Caller

Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter

September 23, 2019 8:35 PM ET

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez visited a “fracking” site in Colorado, and tweeted out a video that purported to show it was releasing toxic emissions.
  • However, several hydraulic fracturing experts noted that no fracking was actually taking place at the rig, and that the camera was not showing emissions, but heat signatures.
  • A Democratic politician tweeted back at Ocasio-Cortez, telling her that “we do ourselves no favors” when Democrats deny facts and science.

Rep. 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.

Democratic New York Rep. Ocasio-Cortez 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 DCNF 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 “like a Tesla,” and is able to operate silently, he said. 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 (COGA) 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,” COGA 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 DCNF. (RELATED: Overdue Tax Bill For Ocasio-Cortez’s Failed Business Remains Unpaid)

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.

117 thoughts on “Democrat On AOC Fracking Claim: ‘We Do Ourselves No Favors When We Ignore Science’

    • Twitter allows theses fools to out themselves (as the fools they are) before their limited intellect realizes what they have just done.
      If they put much (if any) thought to their concepts before they blurted out their ignorance they wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining.
      The greatest part about this is I don’t think AOC realizes the laughing stock that she is making herself to be. So, we will have many more risible moments to come.
      Sadly she isn’t the only one who is embarrassing the American political scene.

      At least Gretta is well scripted and stays on script, making her not funny , but just plain sad.

      • I guess that is a symptom of the combination of Autism and Asperger Syndrome that we can’t appreciate. I see dead people they are Climate Warriors.

        • Our 12 year old granddaughter is on the autistic spectrum, she’s a very sharp cookie with an amazing intellect and, and I love her to bits of course, but she is very, very manipulative, has been since she turned 2 and never grew out of it! She also very single minded and expects everyone to do her bidding, pretty much like Greta actually.

    • Better still a talking mirror or an echo chamber! She might then get a conversation going that even she could understand.

      Joking aside, this is a classic example of what we also have in the UK: politicians with no technological or scientific qualifications or experience simply mouthing what the lobbyist with the loudest mouth and even the best job available for them when they leave Parliament! In fact, apart from a few medical professionals, virtually none of the 650 MP’s in Parliament have any technological or scientific qualifications or work experience! Is it no wonder their Climate Change and many other policy debates now dependent on technology and science are shallow and somewhat meaningless !

    • After meeting Greta, I’m sure Occasional Cortex can See CO2. Possibly one of the most willingly ignorant people on earth.

    • she should have consulted a third-party whistle blower who claimed illegal immigrant detainees were being forced to drink the fracking water. Ohhhhhhhhh maaaaaaaaammmmmmaa aaaaaaa aaaah

      • Yeah, but Kenji, water is not the only substance used in fracking. It’s mixed fracking sand, a specific kind of silica sand that is transported to fracking sites in the same kind of rail cars that carry grain and other commodities. Frac sand is much more stable than water.

        Frac sand is a type of sand with small, uniform particles. It is injected into the rock formation along with the water used to fracture the rock in the process known as hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). The sand is used to prop open the fractures that are created. –

    • She has a brain the size of a pea and a volume of knowledge that is microscopic. What did you guys expect from her? She’s a bimbo.

    • ” Their toxic emissions are invisible. This camera sees them,””
      How stupid does she think the public is? Invisible means invisible, as she does not indicated that some special camera is being used.

      Fracking is NOT criticized for air pollution. She is creating issues that do not exist. As fracking is focused on collecting natural gas for future sale, they are entirely focused on not releasing it to the atmosphere. She is a bartender with the acuity and data base of a bartender, just as Greta is a 16-year old high school sophomore who inly knows the propaganda from her parents. Both are clueless regarding the real world. They just respond to stimuli that match their narrow mind views.

    • [ Carbon, I removed your comment because it was needlessly misogynistic. It’s something I almost never do, removing a comment, but it was unpleasantly anti-women.

      There are lots of places that discuss those ideas, but WUWT is not one of them. Here we discuss the science.

      I trust you will both understand and excuse my effrontery in removing your comment.

      Best regards,

      w. ]

      • We use GC-MS.

        As for FTIR, I just saw a new one at the Shenyang Aerospace University that can report once per second. It has astonishing computational power.

        Li’l “ol me? I have an FLIR camera that clicks into a USB-C phone jack. It can see “fracking toxins” too, if they’re hot…

        • I think Writing Observer has a great idea, and I do mean that! Not being sarcastic about it!

          Go to a get-together of climate warriors and use something that will measure local CO2, before and when the group gets together. Do it both outodoors and indoors in a lecture hall or theater. No, I’m not kidding. Take those measurements before the crowd arrives, photograph them, and then do the same when the crowd is assembled. You don’t even have to be shy about it, just say it’s about climate change, because they’ll groove on it. You could even ask a few to give you personal samples of their CO2 production levels.

          What’s the point? That they produce enough CO2 by themselves to throw off the O2/CO2 exchange balance, or some such thing that sounds scientifically correct to them. It’s a valid experiment that might even deserve grant money if it’s worded properly.

  1. The more Occasional Crouton spews gibberish, the more I cannot believe she was ever a mixologist! Probably poisoned half her clients at that bar she is supposed to have worked at. Her astounding lack of intelligent thought rivals that Swedish little Twit.

  2. are they really this stupid…..yes

    …will a whole lot of people fall for it….absolutely

    will anyone read the truth…

    • This video of hers rivals some of the flat earth videos I watch for entertainment. Such a special camera.

  3. Stories like this made possible by the corrupt fake news mainstream media that refuses to challenge liberal idiocy.

    • Perhaps, but they probably are also ignorant on the function of scientific measuring devices.
      They may have learned from sciency sounding Hollywood that such sorts of devices ought to exist(heck, Ghost Busters used them) but are utterly clueless as well.
      Sadly their idiocy prevents them from realizing they could ask somebody who actually uses theses things how they work and which ones they’ll need.

    • Maybe, maybe not. It’s hard to tell how much is ignorance and how much is deceit with these people. But the big news outlets have the resources to have knowledgeable people on staff (or at least on call), so they have no excuse.

    • Remember just a short while ago, she went to protest the plight of illegal immigrants. She was caught up getting emotionally distraught at the sight of an empty parking lot. That was an Instant Classic.
      Her handlers do know how to stage a media event, complete with photo-ops.

      She is known today as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. When she was in college, “Sandy Cortez” was good enough. What is that all about?

  4. They need to point the same camera at her to catch all the CO2 and hot air she is exhaling into the pristine Colorado air.

  5. AOC entire mission is about passing on false information that makes others look bad. She knows the MSM will never call her out on it so her followers will never hear the truth. Only the opposition will know the real story.

  6. To be fair, if you watch the video, it’s actually some guy “explaining” to her what she’s seeing. She was lied to, but of course she believed it, because fracking is “bad”.

    • Actually, these were lies she sought out. You can be pretty sure that ‘some guy’ was chosen for two reasons – one, that he would provide her just what she wanted. Second, that she could attribute the information to someone else.
      That last one is a tactic among people who try to lend weight to their own viewpoints by implanting the ‘monkey-see/monkey-do, simply EVERYONE says so’ mechanism.

  7. Yep, would appear those around her are actually tasked with undermining her political ambitions even more swiftly than she can by herself

    • An ignorant but wise individual will surround themselves with knowledgeable people and learn from them.
      A fool will surround themselves with clowns so as not to appear as clownish.

  8. It’s really too bad that politics not science decides how one is supposed to view AGW. Personally I think it’s way over done. But unfortunately, how one feels about this issue seems to require other beliefs that have nothing to do with this topic. It really is possible to be liberal on some issues and still believe that AGW is overrated. I guess one could be more conservative and see this as an important concern as well. One issue politics has never been good for the country.

    • Exactly the reason why founders like George Washington were adamant about there being no political parties at all. He knew people in general were unthinking sheep.

  9. This is too funny. The sad part is how the main stream news can sit silent with a straight face and report on all this while the likes of AOC and Lil Miss Greta make fools of themselves and the left they represent. If I was a leftist, I would be downright embarrassed to be represented by AOC who is really clueless about anything. She is just plain stupid and thick as a brick intellectually. Greta can be excused for having been raised in that leftist toxic environment as a special needs autistic child, who clearly hasn’t matured physically or intellectually and is deficient to be able to form any real coherent world view, other than she has been intensely brainwashed since her early childhood. That should be a crime of major child abuse and now she is infecting normal pre-teens and teenagers everywhere with the assistance of the UN/leftist cause.

  10. Now that the Democratic party has been infiltrated and taken over by Progressives we can expect more of this nonsense. The Democrats are being hoisted on their own petard.

    • For the record, because it is so interesting, a petard is a bomb. One is “hoisted by it” if one is clumsy and sets if off accidentally.

      For a long time I thought it was a lanyard of some kind, a rope, in the sense of hanging oneself. It really means to blow your self … upwards. It has become more common of late in political circles.

      • It actually meant being blown up ( hoist ) on your own mortar ( petard ) because it had failed to fire and you were clearing it ( muzzle loader ). You had but to ask….

        • “Hoist with his own petard” is a phrase from a speech in William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet that has become proverbial. The phrase’s meaning is literally that the bomb-maker is blown up by his own bomb, and indicates an ironic reversal, or poetic justice.

  11. Stating the obvious here for most folks but the only “emission” that a IR sensor can pick up is the temperature of whatever is emitted from the borehole that differs from the background ambient air or equipment temperature. if air or vapors are influenced by 200 degree drilling mud arise from the bore, they will certainly be far warmer than any ambient air temperature surrounding the rig.

    Also, the term “forward looking infrared” (FLIR) is being used incorrectly in this application. It is a term only used on aircraft or moving vehicles, to distinguish between IR sensors that are literally looking forward, in the direction the aircraft or vehicle is heading, from lateral or “side looking” IR sensors.

    A IR sensor held by hand or mounted on a swiveling tripod isn’t “forward looking” since “forward” only has meaning with respect to direction of travel of a moving aircraft or vehicle.

    FLIRs are commonly used on military aircraft, missiles, precision guided bombs, and gun projectiles – which move in a particular direction, and therefore can sense in the forward direction, to where they are headed.

      • The people quoted in the post referred incorrectly to its function, not to the manufacturer’s name. The function of such a detectors is NOT a FLIR. It is simply an IR sensor with a graphic display.


        “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,” COGA 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.”

  12. Nice try boys, but those are definitely toxic emissions. Heat waves if nothing else that lead to what? That’s right, climate change. You natural gassers enjoy your sick and twisted alliance with the greenies now, ya hear? Ya get whatcha pay for.

  13. Good for chuckles, and likely votes for The Don in 2020. Enjoy it while it lasts for AOC and the other ‘Squad’ members, having touched the third rail, will be gone after they next have to face the ballot box.

  14. AOC responded to what amounted to a casting call held by the Justice Democrats, complete with videoed screen test. She got the part. And has now teamed up with Greta the Green Sock Puppet to be the brand, the avatars of Climate Action. It is surreal.

  15. “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its boots.”
    – unknown (frequently attributed to Mark Twain, but probably not accurate)

  16. Candidate Kennedy beat Nixon in 1960 because he was much better in the new-ish visual medium of TV.
    Crystallographers get bigger science grants today because they produce visual “pictures” of molecules.
    AOC will continue to get significant support/money by over-achieving in visual media.

  17. She needs to leave my state. Half the people here are already caught up in the anti-energy fervor. People are going around testing the amount of benzene in their blood at the local doctor, a test the state health department has said can only be performed by the CDC. This misinformation is thick here and it is only a couple of years until drilling “fracking rigs” is completely outlawed here. Goodbye local economy!

  18. I have been using and teaching Optical Gas Imaging since 2005. I even trained that operator.

    The emissions in the video are characteristic of water vapor, not VOC. Way too far away to make any professional judgement. Also taking a video of the video screen when a high quality .mpg could be recorded and replayed shows a lack of skill.

  19. There should be a cartoon with Haley Joel Osment saying “I see dead people” AOC saying “I see toxic gasses” and Greta Thunberg saying “I see CO2” then a fourth person saying “I see gullible people”

  20. How dare you heretics question Princess Alex! She is obviously a very knowledgeable and experienced scientist with graduate degrees in Marxist Climatology and Unicorn Dialectical History. Every word coming out of her mouth is 100% guaranteed to be full the wisdom and experience she has worked so hard to acquire. The only solution is for you to doubters is to be excommunicated, beheaded and burned at the stake!
    Seriously though, how did she ever graduate with a degree in Economics? I think her professors must have been spoon feeding her the answers to the tests and lots of late night tutoring and a ghostwriter for her thesis. A very sad commentary on the state of our school system!

    • It really shows the sad state our education system is in. Using her and others I’ve listened/talked to it’s fairly obvious the colleges are now handing out diplomas for paid tuition regardless if the student learned anything or not.

      Funny thing is I can’t really blame the colleges. They get students from High Schools that are passed based on participation. On top of that they have helicopter parents circling campuses, ready to descend in fury for any and every slight to their precious babies.

  21. Any volatile gas emissions from fracking should to be put into global perspective.
    The EPA says that the amounts are small and declining

    I’d pay to see a reporter follow AOC while driving to a local gas station and get a video of her pumping petroleum distillate her personal vehicle.

  22. Not a signal from the rig or associated operations. Look closely, it is an IR signal from the cloud (cumulus humilis) in the background.

  23. Whose idea was it to refer to the purported emissions as toxins? Even if they were toxic emissions, they would not have been toxins. One sounds less scientifically literate when one misuses the word toxin.

  24. I understand why she doesn’t make videos anymore, but I do miss Mini-AOC.
    She’d have a field day with this one!

  25. I ride my bicycle by that site occasionally but haven’t been by in a while. I don’t think they are done with construction yet and I think they’ve been working on installing utilities. I’ll have to swing by there later today before it gets dark to check it out. Part of what you see in the foreground of the rig is a bridge that goes over a toll road.

  26. She doesn’t care what the facts actually are. Why should she? She took some pictures, lied about the content (knowingly or not), and sent the package out to the media and her legions of avid followers. Do you think any of them, including the press, will verify facts before re-tweeting? Nope, it will just be sent on, caterwauling about the damage to the environment. It’s just like the stories on declining numbers of polar bears or suicidal walruses – the feelings carry more weight than the facts. So the damage is done . She really ought to be sued for misrepresentation/falsehoods, but her backers have deep pockets, it would take years, and, in today’s politicized courts, there is little likelihood of a successful conclusion. So expect to see more of these kinds of fact-averse visuals — and not just from AOC. Happy Halloween.

  27. The reality is that, based on the paleoclimate record and the work done with models, the climate change we have been experiencing is caused by the sun and the oceans over which mankind has no control, Despite the hype, there is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate and there is plenty of scientific rationale to support the idea that the climate sensitivity of CO2 is zero. That in a nutshell is the “science” that AOC needs to understand.

    • “That in a nutshell is the “science” that AOC needs to understand.” — W. Haas.

      You are a funny, funny guy, William Haas. She doesn’t want to understand. What she wants is to get attention for anything to further her political career, by riding the coattails of whatever supports her GND agenda. I know – that was tabled, but she’ll drag it out again before long, probably around the next election cycle. Just giving you a heads up on that now.

  28. “A Forward-Looking Infrared Radar (FLIR) ….”
    Um, FLIR stands for “Forward Looking Infra-Red”. No Radar involved.

  29. I also suspect that somehow she’s confusing an IR camera with an IR hyperspectral sensor, which can determine the chemical components of plumes. One wonders who provided the camera for her.

  30. The media will harp on about it for weeks. Unfortunately, AOC will be replaced with Trump.

    Why aren’t you laughing? A TV news here in Australia just reported that impeaching proceedings will start against Trump for threatening the Ukraine by holding back on $1B of funds if Biden’s son is not investigated.

    If you are unaware, the details of the what the whistleblower said haven’t been released. Previously, Biden said in a talk given in early 2018 that he withheld $1B from Ukraine until they took action against corruption and they did sack the prosecutor not doing enough – except investigate his son.

    • Australia TV is incorrect. Pelosi said she’d do an impeachment inquiry, not start impeachment proceedings against Trump. As Speaker of the House, she can bring it up, and delay it like crazy, because she’s been avoiding it for two years now.

      Nice to know that foreign news outlets mangle the news and report what they want to instead of the full facts.

      • AOC is truthful at least not selling oil for the illusion of grandeur Greta will testify truthfully for her.
        this site is only exclusively an oil interest.and suicidal thoughts

  31. AOC is truthful at least not selling oil for the illusion of grandeur Greta will testify truthfully for her.
    this site is only exclusively an oil interest.and suicidal thoughts

    • Your lack of punctuation skills and loose grasp of grammar indicate you and Greta may have more in common than you think.

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