OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - In a state vital to America's domestic energy production, GOP hopeful Rick Santorum electrified supporters with claims that environmentalists are leading a "reign of terror" in the country.

The former senator singled out hydrofracking as the latest issue he claims is now being used to strike fear in the minds of Americans.

"It's the new boogie man. It's the new way to try to scare you," Santorum decried during a campaign rally in Oklahoma City.

"And they're saying look at what's going to happen. Ooh, all this bad stuff that's going to happen," he added.

"Let me tell you what's going to happen; nothing's going to happen, except they will use this to raise money for the radical environmental groups so they can go out and continue to try to purvey their reign of environmental terror on the United States of America."

Many environmentalists would beg to disagree and insist that fracking, which extracts natural gas from shale rock beneath the earth's surface, can leak chemicals into aquifers and pollute drinking water supplies.

Despite those claims, Santorum's assault on environmentalists clearly struck a nerve here. The crowd of well over a thousand supporters burst into cheers and cries of "go get 'em Rick!" as Santorum unloaded.

Energy production fuels the economy in Oklahoma. It's one of the top natural gas-producing states in the nation, and recently ranked eighth in total energy production.

The Sooner State is also rich in delegates. A fact Santorum did not let go unnoticed.

"Forty-three delegates. That's a lot of delegates," Santorum reminded his audience.

"You've got em!" one supporter shouted back.

Time will tell. Oklahomans cast their votes in their state's GOP primary on "Super Tuesday," March 6th.