The Heartland Institute has known it all along, but yesterday the EPA released a study indicating that hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” as it’s known, does not create “widepread” or “systemic” pollution of drinking water. The study, which was commissioned by Congress, angered green groups that have been working diligently to portray the natural gas collection process as ultimately detrimental.
The study, more than four years in the making, said the EPA has found no signs of “widespread, systemic” drinking water pollution from hydraulic fracturing. That conclusion dramatically runs afoul of one of the great green crusades of the past half-decade, which has portrayed the oil- and gas-extraction technique as a creator of fouled drinking water wells and flame-shooting faucets…
Thursday’s congressionally mandated EPA report, a compilation of past studies, found isolated incidents in which water pollution was attributable to the use of fracking. But it failed to back up the idea that fracking poses a major threat to water supplies, contradicting years of activists’ warnings dramatized by images of burning tap water in the Oscar-nominated documentary “Gasland.”
The Obama Administration, to its credit, had not yet succumbed to pressure from green groups over fracking dangers, and has, so far, promoted some natural gas collection efforts as “alternative energy” programs, as the administration believes natural gas is a more environmentally-friendly alternative to coal – an industry the EPA has ferociously attacked throughout Obama’s tenure. Oil and gas industry officials are, of course, hesitant to declare the President a dedicated ally of fracking, however, as the administration still supports heavy regulation of fracking taking place on Federal lands.
The study is, of course, not yet fully complete. It must still undergo an outside review by EPA advisors and a short public comment period before it’s made official.