Hydraulic fracturing, when done correctly, is safe and saves Americans money. The science says so.
EPA looked at scientific studies, government, NGO, and industry data and concluded that hydraulic fracturing has not had “widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water.”
For those of us closely involved in the debate over shale energy, this report simply reaffirms what previous science has shown, as Katie Brown explains at Energy In Depth:
EPA’s study actually builds upon a long list of studies that show the fracking process poses an exceedingly low risk of impacting underground sources of drinking water. It corroborates a “landmark study” by the U.S. Department of Energy in which the researchers injected tracers into hydraulic fracturing fluid and found no groundwater contamination after twelve months of monitoring. It is also in line with reports by the U.S. Geological Survey, the Government Accountability Office, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Groundwater Protection Council, to name just a few.
“The results of EPA’s exhaustive new analysis of hydraulic fracturing should not come as a surprise,” Christopher Guith, senior vice president for policy at the Institute for 21st Century Energy, said. “As the scope of America’s shale oil and gas opportunities have become understood, states and industry have developed regulatory environments and practices that ensure that hydraulic fracturing is done safely.”
In light of EPA’s study, some people have some reevaluating to do:
- Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) should rethink his 2014 ban on hydraulic fracturing.
- Local communities in Colorado, Texas, and elsewhere should stop denying science and think twice before passing local hydraulic fracturing bans.
- The Interior Department needs to reconsider its hydraulic fracturing regulations for federal lands.
- Josh Fox, director of the discredited documentaries Gasland and Gasland 2, should work on a new documentary correcting all the falsehoods in his previous films.
This study shows that states are successfully regulating hydraulic fracturing and duplicative federal rules aren’t needed. “Shale energy development continues to be a major economic driver of our economy, and it is critical that the federal government does not layer on duplicative and unnecessary regulations,” said Guith.
As for hydraulic fracturing opponents, they need to stop denying the science.
EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of a hydraulic fracturing site located atop the Marcellus shale rock formation in Pennsylvania. Photographer: Ty Wright/Bloomberg.