- The host of RuPaul’s Drag Race let slip in an interview that he leases his mineral rights to oil companies.
Drag superstar RuPaul has revealed he leases the mineral rights of his enormous ranch to oil companies – and it may be used for fracking.
RuPaul, famous around the LGBT+ world as the host TV show of RuPaul’s Drag Race, was speaking to NPR’s Terry Gross on her show ‘Fresh Air’.
And Gross, a veteran interviewer, asked RuPaul about the ‘60 acres’ of land he owns in Wyoming in the northwest United States.
But RuPaul corrected her.
‘Oh, no, no no. No, no, no. Sixty thousand acres,’ he said.
That’s around 94 square miles.
‘That’s like a national park!’ Gross exclaimed. ‘What are you doing with them? … Do you have, like, horses, cattle, a farm?’
RuPaul responded that a ‘modern ranch, 21st-century ranch is really land management’.
And the star added that they ‘lease the mineral rights to oil companies and you sell water to oil companies, and then you lease the grazing rights to different ranchers’.
‘At least 35 active oil and gas wells’
In fact RuPaul’s husband Georges LeBar, who he met in 1994 and married in January 2017, co-owns and runs the ranch. LeBar is also a painter and the property is called the LeBar Ranch.
And while Gross didn’t notice the hidden meaning of RuPaul’s comments, others did.
The comments inspired Rory Solomon, a Twitter user, to compare RuPaul’s property to a map of fracking sites. The map is on FracTracker, a nonprofit group that collects data on fracking. Solomon found that huge swaths of the land were used for oil and gas wells.
And environmental news site Earther also used FracTracker to calculate there are 35 active oil and gas wells on just 10,000 acres of the ranch.
Fracking is a method of extracting oil and gas trapped in shale and rock formations. Oil companies drill and then use a high-pressure water mixture to release the gas.
Some governments support it as it’s slightly less carbon-intensive than other fossil fuels like coal. They consider it a ‘bridge’ fuel until energy can become totally sustainable.
However, others argue it is environmentally damaging as it releases huge amounts of methane into the atmosphere. Fracking also uses huge amounts of water and may contaminate groundwater. Meanwhile it may also cause earth tremors.
Some fans have even argued RuPaul is hypocritical to allow it. He has previously held a climate-themed ball on Drag Race to raise environmental awareness.
Meanwhile one of the guest judges on the current series show will be a democrat, US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She coincidentally introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that bans all fracking by 2025.
RuPaul has not yet responded to his fans’ concerns about fracking.