Eighth Major Report Finds Water Contamination From Fracking ‘Has Not Been Observed’

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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A report by a Texas-based research organization found hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has not led to widespread water contamination in the Lone Star state, further contradicting claims from environmentalists.

The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST) released its study Monday, concluding that contamination of drinking water from fracking “has not been observed in Texas.” The report noted that fracking is “highly unlikely” to contaminate drinking water aquifers, which are often far away from where the oil or natural gas is extracted.

“This study is yet another indication that the campaign to shut down fracking is based on politics, not science,” Steve Everley, spokesman, Texans for Natural Gas, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“If fracking were a credible risk to groundwater, we would know about it in Texas, which produces more oil and natural gas than any other state. The fact that such an incident hasn’t been observed here is further confirmation that fracking is safe and well-regulated,” Everley said.

The report also noted that fracking has helped Texas’s economy and reduced energy-related emissions. TAMEST is Texas’ version of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

TAMEST’s study also notes that fracking has had other beneficial impacts on Texas, including making the state’s cleaner and reviving local economies.

This is another major study in the U.S. to conclude fracking is not a major risk to drinking water supplies.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) published a study earlier this month that found no instances of water contamination from fracking in 116 wells across the energy-rich regions of Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a five-year study in 2016 that found fracking was not causing widespread groundwater contamination. A 2014 report by National Energy Technology Laboratory, which is run by the Energy Department, made a similar finding.

Reports by state level regulators have come to similar conclusions.

Environmentalists at the blog Ecowatch responded to such studies by arguing, “millions of Americans know that fracking contaminates groundwater and for the EPA to report any differently only proves that the greatest contamination from the industry comes from its influence and ownership of our government.”

Even scientists whose research was directly financed by environmentalists couldn’t find evidence that fracking contaminates groundwater.

“Our funders, the groups that had given us funding in the past, were a little disappointed in our results,” Amy Townsend-Small, the lead researcher of a University of Cincinnati study, told Newsweek last April. “We haven’t seen anything to show that wells have been contaminated by fracking.”

A Duke University study published earlier this month and funded by the environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) came to the same conclusions as TAMEST.

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