A new movement has begun to discount a recent report from the Environmental Protection Agency that concluded that fracking had little to no widespread impacts on nearby drinking water. A panel of 30 people on an EPA advisory board stated that the report itself was “lacking.”
The recently released report from the EPA was a five-year long endeavor that took place at several drilling projects throughout the United States. At the end of this exhaustive effort, the EPA found that, with increasingly rare exception, the process of hydraulic fracturing has little impact on the nearby drinking water. While some studies that have focused on one particular area paint a terrifying picture of the industry, the word of the Environmental Protection Agency was a breath of fresh air in an environment that is typically hostile towards the oil and gas industry.
At the time of the report’s release, the American Petroleum Industry’s Erik Milito declared, “The science is clear and the studies are completed. Study after study shows that hydraulic fracturing is safe. The benefits of hydraulic fracturing have made the United States the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world, and largely due to affordable and abundant supplies of natural gas, we are also leading the world in reducing carbon and other emissions. Carbon emissions are down to levels not seen in more than two decades – a model resulting not from government mandates and regulations, but private investment and innovation.”
During a Presidential administration that has often pin-pointed the oil and gas industry as a clear and present danger to the United States’ safety, the EPA’s report was poised to have a real impact on the minds of the American public, as it’s extensive research all but cleared up one of fracking’s most controversial issues.
Then, mere weeks after it was introduced, a segment of the representatives that make up the EPA, a collection of academics, politicians, and industrial scientists, have moved to undercut the validity of the years-long study with claims that while the study was comprehensive, it still needs more “quantitative analysis that supports its conclusion.”
To be honest, it’s a little difficult to imagine where, exactly, the EPA may have fallen short in a five-year study that theoretically adhered to the rigorous guidelines they set forth themselves.