David Letterman’s awesome rant against fracking (video)

Wow, I’d never seen this. It’s a video from about a year ago of David Letterman just on a tear against the fracking industry during his television show.

LETTERMAN: “The Delaware water gap has been ruined, the Hudson Valley has been ruined, most of Pennsylvania has been ruined, Virginia, West Virginia has been ruined, Colorado has been ruined, New Mexico has been ruined. They’re poisoning our drinking water and the EPA said, ‘you know what, you no longer have to comply with EPA standards for stuff you put in the water.’ So the greedy oil and gas companies said, ‘great, let’s go crazy!'”


You can tell that at first the audience isn’t entirely clear what’s going on, they think he might even be joking and even laugh at one or two points.  Then it becomes clear that Letterman is dead serious, and ticked off.  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Letterman this sincerely upset about anything.

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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17 Responses to “David Letterman’s awesome rant against fracking (video)”

  1. Bell Smith says:

    As a fellow once said, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” In the case of fracking, science has been hijacked by politicians in the pocket of the oil & gas industry.

  2. ArthurH says:

    The bandwagon is building. Fracking is now taking a whacking in the current story arc in the Dick Tracy comic strip. Er, anybody still read a newspaper that carries Dick Tracy?

  3. Paul says:

    You don’t have to be a scientist. You just need to research. You shouldn’t be able to set fire to your water as has been done numerous times.

  4. Sweetie says:

    Duke University Study Links Fracking to Ground Water Contamination, Jun 26, 2013

    EPA Drops Fracking Studies across U.S., July 7, 2013
    “After a blockbuster draft report on the impact of fracking
    in Wyoming, the Environmental Protection Agency has dropped the study. With
    political pressure mounting from Congress and the energy industry, the action mirrors similar EPA retreats around the country.”

    The Growing Evidence of the Threat of Fracking to the Nation’s Groundwater

    “Some of the most significant environmental concerns associated with fracking are related to impacts on water. In 2012, the Pacific Institute released a major study on these water-related risks. These risks include growing competition for limited water resources; the production of large volumes of contaminated wastewater that comes up with the oil or gas and must be treated, reinjected, or otherwise safely stored; truck traffic and its impacts on the water quality of streams; spills and leaks; and the risks of groundwater contamination from the drilling and fracking process or from surface seepage of improperly handled wastewater.”

    “In fact, even with the limited research done to date, there is clear scientific evidence that fracking not only can — but already has — led to groundwater contamination, including a new study just released this week. Here are just seven separate lines of evidence:

    As far back as 1984, the USEPA reported on a clear case in which hydraulic fracturing fluids and natural gas from production operations contaminated a groundwater well in West Virginia, ‘endering it unusable.’

    The USEPA issued a draft report in 2011 on groundwater contamination in Pavillion, Wyoming, that showed extensive presence of fracking chemicals (natural and synthetic) in shallow and deep groundwater systems. Some of this contamination may have resulted from faulty wells drilled through groundwater aquifers; some of it may have resulted from surface seepage of fracking waste fluids escaping from badly designed and managed wastewater pits.

    The US Geological Survey Report issued its own independent assessment of the Pavillion, Wyoming groundwater testing that also showed high concentrations of several chemicals used in fracking.

    A Canadian groundwater contamination report described a ‘hydraulic fracturing incident’ in 2011 in which errors in well drilling and management led to the release of fracking chemicals into groundwater including isopropanolamine, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene, petroleum hydrocarbons, and more.

    A Duke University peer-reviewed study showed that fracked groundwater systems pose risks to other groundwater systems that were thought to be, but were not, hydraulically separate. This study clearly shows the risks in some groundwater geologies of cross contamination.
    Even more compelling, another peer-reviewed study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences documented ‘systematic evidence for methane contamination of drinking water associated with shalegas extraction.’

    The latest peer-reviewed study, released this week, also shows strong evidence that increased concentrations of methane and other hydrocarbons in drinking water wells are directly correlated with proximity to gas wells in the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania.

    This growing evidence of a real threat to some of the nation’s valuable groundwater makes it all the more disturbing to learn that the US EPA is halting its own independent assessment of groundwater contamination from fracking in the Pavillion gas fields of Wyoming and even worse, turning that research over to a project funded by the fracking company itself. This smells rotten and is not how independent research should be done.”


    Any other fictions and propaganda to dish out, Marshall?

  5. leapinliam says:

    ah, theres the PR spin. Letterman risks his financial ass going against the big bosses like that. Dont let the PR commentaries make it confusing. Cheney got fracking DE-regulated by having it exempted from the Clean Water Act. If it was safe, there would be no need to do that. simple. we got stop fracking now, before they do irreparable damage to our underground water supply.

  6. Marshall says:

    I’m sorry is Letterman a scientist now? This is exactly what’s wrong with America, people are too lazy to do a little research and formulate their own ideas and opinions. Instead they base them on what Hollywood says. I work in the oil & gas industry, everything that we do is controlled and regulated, its not some big conspiracy. All of you people commenting here use fossil fuels every day. Why would you want to pay more for them than we already are? Why would you want to put that money in the hands of people who want to kill each and every one of us? There have been no studies that have conclusively linked fracking to this ground water contamination. There have, however, been studies that have conclusively linked industrial farming to ground water contamination, particularly in Colorado and Wyoming. In my opinion all of you people driving around to your little rallies and town hall meetings to oppose fracking are not only contributing to global terrorism, you’re also contributing to global warming, and global economic depression.

  7. Bill_Perdue says:

    Don’t you mean with the help of the US?

  8. Naja pallida says:

    Politicians like to be nice and call them ‘swing voters’, but stupid is more accurate.

  9. Ferdiad says:

    that is nice. When will he rail against the CIA overthrowing a democratically elected government in Egypt with the help of the local military?

  10. Bill_Perdue says:

    Letterman is on his way but George Carlin said it better https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwmnMR0RbXU

  11. cole3244 says:

    you are so correct!

  12. Sweetie says:

    I suppose apathetic is a polite way of saying stupid.

  13. cole3244 says:

    when george carlin used to go on his rants and be criticizing his audience they didn’t even get it, when the public is this apathetic dave is correct, we’re screwed.

  14. BrianG says:


    Back in your old stomping grounds of Illinois, the Illinois Sierra Club “compromised” so they could have a “place at the table” and they put in “regulations.”

  15. BeccaM says:

    Here in New Mexico, one of our counties — Mora — has banned fracking due to the dangers of water supply contamination.

    We don’t get much rain or snow down here. With the recent drought that began in earnest in 2010, wells are the only source of drinking water for many communities, especially the poorer and more rural ones.

    Hell, my wife and I depend on a 500′ deep well here on the edge of the Estancia Basin aquifer. Apparently the only thing protecting us from fracking is the fact our particular shale does not appear to have appreciable methane gas deposits. Unfortunately, the folks up towards Colorado, especially in the Four Corners region, aren’t so lucky.

    Anyway, there’s something seriously f’d up with the notion that these companies can inject toxic chemicals into the ground at pressures designed specifically to break up shale — when it’s the natural water deposits within that shale the rest of us depend upon to live.

  16. Naja pallida says:

    Goes nicely with the oil train derailment in Quebec, exploding in a small town… oil that came from the North Dakota Bakken shale, a region heavily fracked. There’s been something like a 40% increase in use of trains to carry petroleum products out of these areas, because pipelines have too much red tape, even if they’re cheaper and more efficient in the long run. It’s just another bit of evidence to add to my argument that tar sands oil is going to get to market, whether Keystone XL is built or not. So… do you have a rail line near your home? Do you suppose someone is transporting something along it on a regular basis that could potentially explode and take out half your town if some human made a mistake?

  17. sunmusing says:

    Colorado is still trying to fight fracking…we ARE the headwaters of the west…In my little valley on the Western Slope, we have been continually under the gun from the Kochs, and the rest of the Big Oil and Gas…We already have coal mines, who surprisingly, are very good at doing what they say, and are conscious of their responsibilities to protect the rest of the land while they mine it…It is another matter for the Big Oil boys…they are doing everything to corrupt the legal process, to force their will upon the rest of us…I have started documenting our little North Fork Valley in photos for posterity…we are on the verge of losing the natural beauty of our valley, as well as, losing the clean water and clean air we have taken for granted…

    Not to presume anything, but I will include a link to my gallery…I’m going to be adding another I think to document Bill Koch’s assault on our town and valley…


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