EPA fracking statements criticized
While championing the benefits of new energy extraction methods, Republican House members accused energy oversight agencies of research that misled the public on environmental and health risks.
The accusations came at a joint Energy and Environment subcommittee hearing focus on hydraulic fracturing—often called “fracking”—an extraction technique pioneered in Texas in the 90s, which taps deep ground reserves of natural gas and oil.
Rep. Ralph Hall of Rockwall slammed the Environmental Protection Agency at the Friday morning hearing. Hall said EPA reports on fracturing causing water contamination were later retracted by the agency.
“Cleary this agency’s more interested in rushing to judgment and placing information in the hands of the media than they are for looking for a sound scientific approach,” Hall said.
Hall directed his comments at Kevin Teichman, a science advisor testifying for the EPA. Hall accused the agency’s representatives of lying to Congress in the past.
The House Science Committee Chairman, Lamar Smith of San Antonio, joined Hall in slamming the EPA.
“The EPA is at the center of this debate, linking fracking to water contamination in at least three cases, only to be forced to retract their statements after further scrutiny,” Smith said.
Wyoming Rep. Cynthia Lummis went even further than her Texas colleagues. Lummis cited a report on fracking in Pavilion, Wyo., accusing the agency of inventing evidence of contamination.
“It was hugely prematurely released,” Lummis said. “It has not been peer reviewed. It was exaggerated, and it appears, in fact, EPA itself was contaminating those wells itself in in their own efforts,” Lummis said.
Rep. Randy Weber of Pearland endorsed his colleague’s critiques of the EPA.
In Texas, the EPA withdrew a Fort Worth-area case in 2012 that had alleged water contamination by hydraulic fracturing.
At issue for the GOP members was EPA’s $45 million spent on fracking research last year and $38 million requested for the year. Republican members demanded agencies release more specifics on their research plans.
...There is reason to distrust the EPA. It is dominated by the anti energy left that seeks to thwart domestic energy production from traditional sources of energy while favoring more inefficient energy sources such as wind and solar. I think their funding should be cut not expanded.