My, my: EPA declines to confirm a connection between fracking and groundwater pollution in Wyoming

posted at 6:41 pm on June 20, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Under President Obama, the Environmental Protection Agency hasn’t displayed much of an inclination for judiciousness in their bureaucratic rulemaking. It seems that they rarely miss an opportunity to design new regulations, to ascribe themselves new and expanded authority, nor to find and/or make up new justifications for doing so — which makes this… conspicuously odd.

Since 2011, the EPA has been “reviewing” their study on the effects of hydraulic fracturing — a.k.a. “fracking,” the drilling technique largely behind the shale oil and gas boom sweeping the nation — on possible groundwater contamination near drilling sites in Wyoming. It was the first major study that pointed to a possible link between fracking and groundwater pollution, and the eco-radical crowd cheered the EPA onward (never you mind the many glaring problems with the study’s findings and analysis, which Wyoming Governor Matt Mead at the time called “scientifically questionable”) while the EPA pursued their desired results with all of the single-minded determination of a government agency whose collective mind is already made up. And yet, here we are, over a year later, and the EPA still hasn’t been able to conclusively determine that the chemicals they are detecting are indeed the result of hydraulic fracturing — which might explain why the independent federal agency is now deciding to abandon their plan to confirm that the two are linked and is instead returning the regulatory responsibilities back to the state of Wyoming. Via the AP:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday it is abandoning its longstanding plan to have independent scientists confirm or cast doubt on its finding that hydraulic fracturing may be linked to groundwater pollution in central Wyoming. …

“We stand behind our work and the data, but EPA recognizes the state’s commitment to further investigation,” he told AP.

Wyoming officials have been skeptical about the theory that hydraulic fracturing played a role in the pollution, but Reynolds expressed confidence the state could lead the work from here. …

The EPA has extended public comment periods on the draft report three times since it came out — twice last year and again this year. Each extension delayed the peer-review plans.

They just can’t bear to come out and say it, can they? Especially not now that it sounds like the Obama administration is looking to move forward, albeit slowly and cautiously, with some increased natural gas development. I doubt that Josh Fox will be at all pleased.


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Government is expensive, even leftists recognize a golden goose every now and then.

rob verdi on June 20, 2013 at 6:46 PM

OT: kirsten powers just said she doesn’t want to live in a country that has borders

WTF??????

cmsinaz on June 20, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Maybe there ain’t no fracking connection!

Axeman on June 20, 2013 at 6:47 PM

OT: kirsten powers just said she doesn’t want to live in a country that has borders

WTF??????

cmsinaz on June 20, 2013 at 6:47 PM

I’m sure there are plenty of borderless countries she can go to.

Axeman on June 20, 2013 at 6:48 PM

Axeman on June 20, 2013 at 6:48 PM

for sure…

cmsinaz on June 20, 2013 at 6:50 PM

OT: kirsten powers just said she doesn’t want to live in a country that has borders

WTF??????

cmsinaz on June 20, 2013 at 6:47 PM

She probably doesn’t like to wear underwear either.

portlandon on June 20, 2013 at 6:59 PM

OT: kirsten powers just said she doesn’t want to live in a country that has borders

WTF??????

cmsinaz on June 20, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Blonde, dumb, and liberal. What could go wrong?

******

Obviously, the EPA found absolutely no correlation between fracking and groundwater contamination, and we can be sure they tried hard. I bet they tried fudging data, too, but still couldn’t find any. If I recall, the chemicals used in fracking are basically bio-degradable liquid soap. Does anyone think the companies involved would risk spending all that start-up money only to have the EPA shut them down and fine them for pollution?

Dump the EPA and let the states’ own environmental agencies deal with it. It’s bad enough EPA has overriding state-issued development permits, ruining countless investments and peoples’ lives over some sub-sub species of ant that has a global population of 100 specimens.

Think of all that money to be freed up to give away to the now-undocumented Democrats in exchange for votes!

Liam on June 20, 2013 at 7:00 PM

They’ve been fracking oil wells there for 40 years.

Kiss my A$$.

BigWyo on June 20, 2013 at 7:02 PM

Time for Gasland Part III.

Ward Cleaver on June 20, 2013 at 7:06 PM

OT: kirsten powers just said she doesn’t want to live in a country that has borders

WTF??????

cmsinaz on June 20, 2013 at 6:47 PM

I wonder what borderless state she lives in….

Electrongod on June 20, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Buzz around town is Kirstin has no boundaries.

crash72 on June 20, 2013 at 7:10 PM

There is as much of a connection between fracking and groundwater pollution as there is between the GloBULL Warming HOAX and REALITY.

TeaPartyNation on June 20, 2013 at 7:14 PM

OT: kirsten powers just said she doesn’t want to live in a country that has borders

WTF??????

cmsinaz on June 20, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Good luck finding a borderless country. Unless you like living on an island.

I’d quote a line from Ron Burgandy about which island she is free to go to….but I might get banned.

Ditkaca on June 20, 2013 at 7:15 PM

Ain’t reality a bitch?

I’m still hopeful for EPA “findings” that solar panels DO generate electricity during night time hours.

GarandFan on June 20, 2013 at 7:21 PM

Well Erika, what you don’t seem to understand is the center of the earth is “several maaillion degrees”.
And that’s… all I got. Probably explain… why Miami’s playing the way they are. Miami…Heat.
Okay that’s all I got.

onomo on June 20, 2013 at 7:25 PM

There is as much of a connection between fracking and groundwater pollution as there is between the GloBULL Warming HOAX and REALITY.

TeaPartyNation on June 20, 2013 at 7:14 PM

It’s still early in the game, there isn’t a decade of data to review on fracking and the frequency of well leaks. Some leaks may develop over time and not be immediately measurable. Of course, not every leak will affect ground water, so that’s another unknown, and perhaps not a serious risk.

But you can’t say that the EPA has been overly cautious, and certainly some aspects of the environment impact are clearly not well understood yet.

http://www.examiner.com/article/methane-leaking-from-fracking-wells-colorado-and-utah-raising-concerns

bayam on June 20, 2013 at 7:25 PM

This is a set up, not sure just how yet but Barky’s personal environmental security agency isn’t known for keeping the best interests of the nation in mind.

Bishop on June 20, 2013 at 7:26 PM

Cue Admiral Ackbar.

The EPA knows its claims are a bunch of shinola, so instead of endorsing the research that will prove the shinola (and thus destroy its claims), it is fixing to say the Wyoming-endorsed research that will do so was “bought and paid for by Big Oil.” That will allow the EPA to continue to seek to destroy fracking in the rest of the country with, if lieberals had a conscience, a clear conscience.

Steve Eggleston on June 20, 2013 at 7:27 PM

This is a set up, not sure just how yet but Barky’s personal environmental security agency isn’t known for keeping the best interests of the nation in mind.

Bishop on June 20, 2013 at 7:26 PM

If you had waited just one more minute, I would have answered your question before you asked. :-)

Steve Eggleston on June 20, 2013 at 7:28 PM

The EPA is a pollutant. They pollute human knowledge and decency.

kenny on June 20, 2013 at 7:30 PM

cmsinaz on June 20, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Remember journalism majors rank right up there with ed and sociology majors in the bottom quartile of IQ at the university.

chemman on June 20, 2013 at 7:48 PM

OT: kirsten powers just said she doesn’t want to live in a country that has borders

WTF??????

cmsinaz on June 20, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Well, I think she’s in luck, they went bankrupt in 2011. There is still Barnes and Nobles though… What.

FrackNation is a great documentary on the truth about fracking.

http://fracknation.com/

Fallon on June 20, 2013 at 7:51 PM

And, with Kirsten, sadly, it always seems to be one step forward and two steps back…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4G4tFINFL0

Fallon on June 20, 2013 at 7:54 PM

Fracking sucks dry some black shale comprised of the Liberal-Progressive Forefathers.

kenny on June 20, 2013 at 8:00 PM

So much fear mongering.

CW on June 20, 2013 at 8:14 PM

Did someone in Wyoming finally say “drop dead” to the EPA?

*applause*

Also Powers said she didn’t want to live in a country with fences, not borders.

PattyJ on June 20, 2013 at 8:22 PM

It’s still early in the game, there isn’t a decade of data to review on fracking and the frequency of well leaks. Some leaks may develop over time and not be immediately measurable. …….

bayam on June 20, 2013 at 7:25 PM

There has been fracking going on for 15 years in the Barnett Shale. 15000 wells so far. No leaks, no groundwater issues, no problems. No confirmed cases of issues anywhere else, either.

The zones being hydraulically fractured (fracked) are typically 6000 to 9000 feet deep. Groundwater is at a few hundred feet deep, at most. Fracture height growth is typically a few hundred feet. Ain’t gonna happen.

iurockhead on June 20, 2013 at 8:23 PM

Liberals grow within pollution to scary and gargantuan proportions, almost like Bloombergian organic matter

kenny on June 20, 2013 at 8:59 PM

OT: kirsten powers just said she doesn’t want to live in a country that has borders

WTF??????

cmsinaz on June 20, 2013 at 6:47 PM

OK, we may just have found a degree of idiocy beyond Industrial Grade Stupid.

Blondes everywhere are suffering because of this dingaling. She keeps playing to the stereotype.

clear ether

eon

eon on June 20, 2013 at 9:20 PM

EPA, a place of Twerps and Dikes and other furry ceatures within the pristine environment.,

kenny on June 20, 2013 at 9:23 PM

Show me a Liberal who knows Science or Engineering. The Epa is filled with liberal fools and lawyers. There is not a scientific bone in their worthless politacal body.

kenny on June 20, 2013 at 9:43 PM

The EPA has zero credence in the scientific community. Period.

kenny on June 20, 2013 at 9:46 PM

The EPA has been a rogue agency with bucket-loads of money, employees hand picked from the Environutbag faction of the tree hugger zero population don’t breath don’t fart crowd. Almost equal in power to the IRS and they have no state they won’t crush if they get pissed. Talk about targeting conservative groups, these dudes work lock step with one another to shut down any type business they choose with flawed and skewed made up reports made by PAID labs and organizations. You know they still won’t answers the questions about where they get their power of authority to usurp a states authority. EPA also works very closely with those endangered species clods that find any living creature make up a number assign it an area larger than any reasonable species has a right to colonize and they stop any building, growing, business from occupying the same space… Example would be the white lizard here in Texas that has stopped oil drilling…. Lets not even mention we still are not able to drill in the gulf …. Democrats are all about control and power…. They will choke the life out of a baby in the mothers womb but save a rat that could bite you and give you rabies. Crazy people with limitless power. They seriously need their wings clipped and their budget cut to a 1/2 of what it is… Turn it over to the states, let them mind there own backyard.

ActinUpinTexas on June 20, 2013 at 11:28 PM

I thought about going to a free Josh Fox lecture and film tonight. It was six blocks from my house. But I think going to the yoga class was a better use of my time.

thuja on June 20, 2013 at 11:44 PM

O T: kirsten powers just said she doesn’t want to live in a country that has borders

WTF??????

cmsinaz on June 20, 2013 at 6:47 PM

.
Translation: Kirsten Powers wants one-world government.

listens2glenn on June 21, 2013 at 1:09 AM

Well, I don’t want to live in a country where people as airheaded as Kirsten Powers are in charge of national security.

drunyan8315 on June 21, 2013 at 8:34 AM

If the EPA keeps extending the comment periods repeatedly, they’re probably getting more and more negative comments, so they’re giving up.

Of course, Wyoming is a relatively dry and sparsely-populated state, so that even if fracking chemicals did get into the water, few people would notice.

It will be far more interesting to check whether fracking chemicals may be getting into the water supply in a state like Pennsylvania or Ohio, which are more densely populated and receive much more rainfall than Wyoming. If the drillers are taking good care to seal the pipes as they pass through bedrock, then the fracking chemicals can’t migrate upward from the gas-bearing shale into the aquifers.

Steve Z on June 21, 2013 at 9:20 AM

It’s still early in the game, there isn’t a decade of data to review on fracking and the frequency of well leaks. Some leaks may develop over time and not be immediately measurable. …….

bayam on June 20, 2013 at 7:25 PM

That’s odd. Haliburton has been “fracking” since 1949.

Time just flies, doesn’t it?

Especially when you’re stupid and leftist. (Yeah. I know that’s redundant.)

Solaratov on June 21, 2013 at 10:06 AM

A note:

Countries without borders don’t exist.

BobMbx on June 21, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Typical EPA response when they have no idea what they are doing. “EPA agree, Frackking a Great Idea – Glade We Developed it” but we’ll never use it cause we don’t know how to use it

MSGTAS on June 21, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Gee, imagine that, they cannot confirm the lie that they told about fracking, because to do so would be another lie, which would lead to another, and another….

In other news, Richard Windsor mentioned that his faucet in Maryland caught fire – fracking in the Marcellus Shale is blamed.

Another Drew on June 21, 2013 at 12:41 PM

“…EPA declines to confirm a connection…”

It’s those annoying facts getting in the way of Barry-O’s agenda…or as some might call it, an ‘inconvenient truth.’

Klem Kadiddlehopper on June 21, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Steve Z on June 21, 2013 at 9:20 AM

OH and PA state environmental agencies have found no connection between drinking-water contamination and fracking.
Drinking-water aquifers are at levels thousands of feet above the Marcellus Shale, with hard-rock layers between the two preventing water migration both up and down.

Another Drew on June 21, 2013 at 12:45 PM

But, but but… Matt Damon!

The Schaef on June 21, 2013 at 2:49 PM

… and rocks sink in water, so Science!

The Schaef on June 21, 2013 at 2:50 PM