We’re living in a world that is melting down in front of our eyes, and things are getting worse and worse each day. There’s the obvious worries about how we won’t be able to work and collect paychecks or maybe we’ll get sick and die, but luckily a beloved celebrity has it all figured out.
I’ve never watched their show, but I have a ton of friends that are big fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race and they’ll do watch parties. Maybe now that I’ll be out of work for the indefinite future, I’ll catch up, but until then I’m gonna marinate on this unsettling revelation that Gizmodo published about how RuPaul apparently could give no fucks about the environment:
RuPaul’s a big fan of getting that coin. In 30 years, they went from struggling artist to a household name. Now, as the host of the wildly popular TV drag competition RuPaul’s Drag Race, he’s a household name and has amassed a net worth of $60 million. Fans know that RuPaul and his partner Georges LeBar have a massive ranch in Wyoming. And in an interview with Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air, they let us know a little more about what goes on at that ranch.
“Do you have, like, horses or cattle or a farm or…?” Gross asks.
“A modern ranch, 21st century ranch, is really land management,” Charles explains. “You lease the mineral rights to oil companies. And you sell water to oil companies. And you then lease the grazing rights to different ranchers. So it’s land management. Yeah.”[…]Rory Solomon, a PhD candidate at NYU, looked into it after hearing the interview.
Solomon and Gizmodo dug into RuPaul’s mineral situation, and discovered the following:
We found that Ru’s partner, Australian rancher Georges LeBar, owns seven parcels of land in Wyoming totaling some 66,000 acres. LeBar’s company, Le Bar Ranch, leases that land to at least three oil companies: Anadarko E&P Onshore, Chesapeake Operating, and Anschutz Oil Company. Using FracTracker, we looked at just 10,000 of those acres and found more than 35 active oil and gas wells.
All oil and gas drilling is bad, but it’s worth mentioning that all three of these companies are major players in the fracking industry. Chesapeake Energy was a pioneer of the drilling method, and it’s the second most active drilling company in the nation. It’s closely followed by Anadarko. And Anschutz is no mom-and-pop shop either—its owner, Philip Frederick Anschutz, made billions from fossil fuel extraction that earned him the 41st spot on the Forbes 400.
Honestly, the most shocking bit of this article was that Chesapeake was still the second most active drilling company in the US. I’m broke as fuck right now but could probably buy a few of their shares with change from the couch cushions. I guess when you’ve got a mandate to aggressively destroy the environment at any cost for some cheap energy, there’s always money in the banana stand. We gotta wonder if there was a dinner party where Aubrey McClendon took RuPaul into his private wine cave and poured up a bottle of a rare vintage of Chateau Lafite Rothschild, or some other bottle with a picture of a chateau on it.
Anyways, it’s cool that RuPaul has had a major impact on changing the country’s perceptions of gender identities and making drag shows a fun mainstream thing, but it’s very clear that they care more about churning money into their bank than leaving a sustainable environment for future generations.