The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is set to make decisions about hydraulic fracturing “based not on science, but rather pressure from [environmental] groups,” according to a Monday letter by an energy industry group.
The Independent Petroleum Association of America letter worries the EPA will bow to “political pressure from environmental groups” and revise the agency’s five-year study on the effects of fracking on the nation’s water supply, despite clear scientific evidence that fracking does not put it at risk.
“From our assessment, we conclude there are above and below ground mechanisms by which hydraulic fracturing activities have the potential to impact drinking water resources. We did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States,” stated the draft version of EPA’s study. The draft study has been extensively criticized by environmentalists.
The letter emphasizes that the EPA’s conclusions about fracking and wastewater contamination should be based solely on the most up-to-date science. EPA science shows no substantial risks from fracking and concurs with the vast majority of research from regulatory bodies and academics.
Three previous EPA studies have failed to link fracking to groundwater contamination in Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wyoming.
“[There is] no evidence of association with deeper brines or long-range migration of these compounds to the shallow aquifers” concluded a study by Yale University, which was published in the highly prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. The study, the largest of its kind, sampled 64 private water wells near fracking sites and determined that there were not detectable levels of fracking fluids in drinking water.
Even Obama cabinet officials, such as Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, argue that fracking can be done safely and will not harm drinking water.
Environmentalists have long opposed fracking. The Sierra Club claims that “fracking has contaminated the drinking water of hundreds of thousands of Americans.” Greenpeace claims that fracking contaminates drinking water so much that “[h]omeowners in some affected areas even report being able to light the water coming out of their kitchen sinks,” openly citing the movie Gasland. Said reports have been throughly debunked by academics, media outlets, and the gas industry itself.
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