The rapidly rising fortunes of shale gas via the hydraulic fracturing boom have been a rather irritating inconvenience for progressive eco-radicals and their extreme anti-fossil fuel goals. Natural gas has proven to be a more cleanly-burning alternative to coal, releasing far fewer carbon emissions in the process, and the stuff is going to be plentifully available and economically profitable for both domestic consumption and exports for decades and decades to come — which means that the green lobby’s willfully-self-impoverishing, all-renewables-or-bust agenda doesn’t have quite the weighty urgency that they claimed it did even just a few years ago, and they find themselves having to turn to other methods to try and throw wrenches into the works of the oil-and-gas industry. Wrenches, like, say, relentlessly pressuring the Obama administration toward an ultimately fruitless disavowal of the Keystone XL pipeline, or trying to get the Environmental Protection Agency to re-up studies that they hope will lead to more prohibitively top-down federal drilling regulations, via The Hill:

Eight Democrats in the House have asked Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reopen its investigations into water contamination incidents in Wyoming, Pennsylvania and Texas that they say may have been connected to natural gas drilling, including hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. …

“While we appreciate that states act as the major source of regulation for unconventional drilling operations, we believe the Environmental Protection Agency has a key role to play in oil and gas development,” the Democrats wrote.

“We are writing to urge you to take any and all steps within your power to help these communities,” the said. …

The letter was signed Reps. Matt Cartwright (Pa.), Alan Lowenthal (Calif.), Jared Huffman (Calif.), Raul Grijalva (Ariz.), Keith Ellison (Minn.), David Scott (Ga.), Mark Pocan (Wis.) and Rush Holt (N.J.).

Do you appreciate that the states, who obviously have their own best interests in mind, can act as the major source of regulation for fracking, though? Because it kind of sounds like you don’t.

The EPA has investigated the environmentalist Left’s persistent and wildly exaggerated claims of groundwater contamination from hydraulic fracturing on several occasions through the past few years; then, last year, they dropped one case and decided to leave two others to the regulatory auspices of the states in which the investigations were taking place. The Obama administration might not sincerely love natural gas, but they’ve apparently decided not to hinder it too much for now, touting its status as a “bridge fuel” in their “all of the above” energy plan — and, well, state-level regulation that can less ideologically take into account both environmental and economic impacts of its decisions? The eco-radicals just aren’t big fans of that at all.