Fracking was invented by the U.S. government and Hillary Clinton loved the energy production process so much, she advocated it worldwide, according to leaked transcripts of speeches made to businessmen.
The disclosure comes after Wikileaks released emails hacked from John Podesta, chairman of the Clinton campaign, on Friday.
Despite a fracking ban in her home state of New York, Hillary Clinton told bankers, “I’ve promoted fracking in other places around the world.”
Podesta received comments made in past Hillary Clinton speeches flagged as potential liabilities. Parts of those speeches included speeches to big investment banks such as Goldman Sachs. And many of the excerpts betrayed significant conflicts between what Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton says on the campaign trail and what she really believes.
Clinton’s support for fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, could cause further consternation among those in her base who enthusiastically supported Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during their contentious primary.
Standing before Deutsche Bank on April 24, 2013, Clinton not only said she supported fracking — an energy production process hated by left-wing environmentalists — but that the government invented it.
"I mean, fracking was developed at the Department of Energy. I mean, the whole idea of how fracking came to be available in the marketplace is because of research done by our government," Clinton said in a paid speech before the bankers. "And I've promoted fracking in other places around the world."
The U.S. government is generally not credited with developing hydraulic fracturing to get at trapped natural gas and oil. In lesser forms, the process started in the 1860s, according to John Manfreda, writing for OilPrice.com.
Research continued through the decades. The Department of Energy did help the process along in the 1970s, according to the New York Times.
But the modern practice -- made economically feasible, to boot -- was refined by George P. Mitchell. According to the Times, Mitchell's company injected the ground with water, sand and a chemical mixture, rather than more expensive foams and gels, into the wells. The process became viable for gas and made Mitchell rich.
It also began America's new energy boom when companies drilled horizontally, and then used the technique.
But, of course, the environmentalists hate any such invasion of Mother Earth. The state of New York banned the process in 2014, despite huge energy potential in upstate New York. The fracking boom was projected to create thousands of jobs in the beleaguered upstate region, but opposition from liberals, celebrities and activists in Albany and New York City doomed the industry there. Clinton has remained mum on the state's ban.
Meanwhile, Ohio and Pennsylvania are fracking away, and creating jobs and energy.
The admission that Clinton tried to spread fracking worldwide -- but not in her home state of New York -- is possibly more controversial than any other admission about the subject.
Sanders supporter Susan Sarandon, the actress, said a key reason she didn't support Clinton was that she traveled the world and advocated the energy production process, which cracks open parts of the earth to release natural gas and oil. The process is also hated by New Yorker Yoko Ono and son Sean Lennon, who wrote, "Don't Frack My Mother."
As for the opposition to the process, Clinton -- in a familiar refrain -- told another business group that it was the Russians who were whipping up opposition.
"We were up against Russia pushing oligarchs and others to buy media," Clinton told tinePublic on June 18, 2014. "We were even up against phony environmental groups, and I'm a big environmentalist, but these were funded by the Russians to stand against any effort -- oh that pipeline, that fracking, that whatever will be a problem for you -- and a lot of the money supporting that message was coming from Russia."
TinePublic is a promotional group that pays for speeches. What audience paid TinePublic to get Clinton to speak is unclear. But Clinton aimed her remarks at energy companies, seemingly to assure them she was no radical.
And while Clinton mostly deferred questions on the big Keystone XL oil pipeline that Obama later stopped from crossing the U.S.-Canadian border, Clinton called for more pipelines in Europe. Clinton said the pipelines and more international fracking would help reduce dependence on Russian oil and gas.
"I would like to see us accelerating the development of pipelines from Azerbaijan up into Europe," Clinton told business leaders in Montreal, Canada. "I would like to see us looking for ways to accelerate the internal domestic production. Poland recently signed a big contract to explore hydraulic fracturing to see what it could produce. Apparently, there is thought to be some good reserves there. And just really go at this in a self interested, smart way. The Russians can only intimidate you if you are dependent upon them."