Fans looking forward to the twelfth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, have been left scratching their heads after RuPaul admitted to allowing fracking on his Wyoming ranch.
In an NPR interview with Terry Gross, 59-year-old RuPaul discussed his Emmy-winning show as well as his 60,000-acre ranch which stretches across Wyoming and South-Dakota.
While Gross initially heard 60 acres, RuPaul had to correct the radio legend about the sheer size of his current country lifestyle.
“That’s like a national park!” Gross remarked.
The drag-icon hinted at the lesser-known side of his entrepreneurship which has helped contribute to his $60 million (USD) fortune.
“Well, a modern ranch, 21st-century ranch, is really land management,” RuPaul said.
“It is – you lease the mineral rights to oil companies.
“And you sell water to oil companies. And then you lease the grazing rights to different ranchers. So it’s land management. Yeah.”
RuPaul is describing the process of fracking, which many environmentalists call a ‘big no-no.’
Fracking involves drilling down into the ground and using a high-pressure water, sand and chemical mixture to extract gas, minerals and fossil fuels.
The process is commonly used to access difficult-to-reach resources of oil and gas and has been hailed by some as a revolution in a floundering energy industry.
However, aside from the major environmental cost of having to transport large amounts of water to the site and concerns about creating earthquakes and tremors, fracking has a very fast-felt health cost to people too.
Environmentalists warn that potentially carcinogenic chemicals may escape during drilling and contaminate groundwater around the fracking site.
While the industry suggests pollution incidents are the results of bad practice, many note that it’s because fracking is simply an inherently risky technique. It’s also a distraction from investments into clean and renewable energy sources.
Season 12 of RuPaul’s Drag Race is already shrouded in controversy, with contestant Sherry Pie being disqualified from this year’s season after allegations surfaced that she posed as a fake casting director, encouraging vulnerable gay men to strip on camera.
Sherry Pie, also known as Joey Gugliemelli, was disqualified after the premiere episode had been aired following accusations from five men that Sherry had catfished them.
The men, who were told they were being chosen to star in a new show, were put through an intense ‘audition’ process, with one being coerced to masturbate on camera.
Sherry had already won the third episode’s challenge – along with a cash tip of $5,000, which has since been donated to The Trevor Project to help LGBTQI people struggling with their mental health.