EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson Likes Natural Gas, But Isn’t So Sure About Fracking

Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson made a passing reference to natural gas and hydraulic fracturing at a Congressional hearing last week. Both anti- and pro-drilling supporters felt she leaned in their respective direction. Here is what has been reported about her comments:

During the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on May 24, a session mainly devoted to the topic of high gasoline prices at the pump, EPA head Jackson said that “increasing American’s natural gas production is a good thing” because it produces a cleaner type of energy than other fossil fuels.

When she was asked about whether fracking is a danger to groundwater supplies, Jackson said that “there’s evidence that it certainly can affect them,” but she added that there is not evidence that it actually has to date.

“I am not aware of any proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water, although there are investigations ongoing,” she said.*

So there you have it. Jackson likes natural gas as a fuel, but the way to get it, fracking, may or may not be a danger to groundwater supplies. So does she support or oppose shale gas drilling? Yes.

*The Times Leader (May 30, 2011) – Fracking control debated