EPA: Fracking Poses No ‘Widespread’ Harm To Drinking Water

  • Date: 04/06/15
  • Elena Schor, Politico

A long-awaited EPA report on hydraulic fracturing hands a victory to the oil and gas industry, concluding that the extraction process has “not led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources.”

A four-year study from the EPA—the federal government’s most comprehensive examination of the issue of fracking and drinking water—found that fracking can be carried out safely and doesn’t need to pose a threat to water.

A four-year study from the EPA—the federal government’s most comprehensive examination of the issue of fracking and drinking water—found that fracking can be carried out safely and doesn’t need to pose a threat to water. PHOTO: ANDREW CULLEN/REUTERS

The conclusions of EPA’s years-long fracking study should bolster natural gas producers, who have benefited from Obama administration environmental policies that shrunk the coal industry’s hold on the electricity industry.

Fracking has helped turn the U.S. into an energy superpower in recent years, but it’s also set off a political firestorm. Fueled by the Oscar-nominated documentary “Gasland,” which told the story of a flaming tap water and well water contamination in a Pennsylvania town, the state of New York, as well as the cities of Pittsburgh and Denton, Texas enacted bans on the technology.

But environmentalists have had little success in curbing fracking on a large scale. Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton has hailed natural gas as playing “an important bridge role in the transition to a cleaner energy economy.”

That stance puts her largely in line with President Barack Obama, who has championed domestic gas and seen U.S. economy benefit from resurgence in oil production from fracking in states such as North Dakota and Texas.

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