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EPA Strikes Out on Anti-Fracking Campaign

July 2, 2013

The EPA has worked mightily to demonstrate that Fracking causes water contamination, yet it has struck out again.

While it has backed away from other locations where it originally claimed damage from Fracking, it was at Pavilion, Wyoming that it tried, with great fervor, to prove that Fracking caused water contamination. See February 2012 article Fracking Indictment.

But once again, it couldn’t. This month, the EPA announced it would no longer pursue its investigation, but instead, will allow the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ) and the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (WOGCC) to take the lead in the scientific investigation of water quality.

The EPA’s initial report, released in December 2011, contained numerous errors which it attempted to correct with a second study. The second study was also replete with errors.

If there was anywhere in the United States that Fracking might have created problems with drinking water, Pavilion was it. The geology was different and more easily susceptible to leakage of natural gas and chemicals into nearby wells.

There had, in fact, been decades where local wells had been contaminated by natural gas. The idea that Fracking was the cause seemed unlikely from the outset, given the history of contaminated wells. Local residents asked the EPA to investigate, hoping that a friendly EPA would establish that Fracking was the cause.

These residents now feel betrayed by their friend, the EPA.

The EPA has abandoned its efforts, and isn’t waiting for the peer review of its studies.

It’s hard to believe the EPA would have abandoned its efforts before the peer review process was complete if it wasn’t certain its reports were seriously flawed.

This picture, taken in Kettle River, Minnesota, from the August, 1980, issue of the National Geographic, proves that natural gas contamination of wells occurred long before Fracking became an issue. In this instance, Lee Hattenberger is lighting the water from his faucet.

Photo from August, 1980 issue of National Geographic Magazine

Photo from August, 1980 issue of National Geographic Magazine


Environmentalist organizations are up in arms over the turn of events in Pavilion, but if the EPA can’t prove Fracking causes water contamination, who can?

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