Today’s Wall Street Journal provides a devastating rebuttal of the very flawed EPA study that tries to pin chemical contamination of water supplies in Pavillion, Wyoming on fracking. Among the WSJ’s observations:
The EPA says it launched the study in response to complaints "regarding objectionable taste and odor problems in well water." What it doesn’t say is that the U.S. Geological Survey has detected organic chemicals in the well water in Pavillion (population 175) for at least 50 years—long before fracking was employed.*
The one “dangerous” compound that exists in the water above federal limits is was 2-butoxyethyl phosphate—all other compounds were within acceptable limits. As for 2-BE?
The Petroleum Association of Wyoming says that 2-BE isn’t an oil and gas chemical but is a common fire retardant used in association with plastics and plastic components used in drinking wells.*
Read the other points the WSJ makes by clicking the link below to view the full article. Many of those points were made by MDN here.
But it is the article’s conclusions that caught MDN’s eye—the same conclusions you’ve been reading about here for months. That is, the success of shale gas means adopting so-called alternative or “sustainable” energy sources will slow down in the short-term, and the global warmists just can’t have that:
…EPA’s credibility is also open to review. The agency is dominated by anticarbon true believers, and the Obama Administration has waged a campaign to raise the price and limit the production of fossil fuels.
Natural gas carries a smaller carbon footprint than coal or oil, and greens once endorsed it as an alternative to coal and nuclear power. But as the shale gas revolution has advanced, greens are worried that plentiful natural gas will price wind and solar even further out of the market. This could mean many more of the White House’s subsidized investments will go belly up like Solyndra.
The other big issue is regulatory control. Hydraulic fracturing isn’t regulated by the EPA, and in 2005 Congress reaffirmed that it did not want the EPA to do so under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The states regulate gas drilling, and by and large they have done the job well. Texas and Florida adopted rules last week that followed other states in requiring companies to disclose their fracking chemicals.
But the EPA wants to muscle in, and its Wyoming study will help in that campaign. The agency is already preparing to promulgate new rules regulating fracking next year. North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple says that new EPA rules restricting fracking "would have a huge economic impact on our state’s energy development. We believe strongly this should be regulated by the states." Some 3,000 wells in the vast Bakken shale in North Dakota use fracking.*
The EPA continues to be a rogue agency.
*Wall Street Journal (Dec 19, 2011) – The EPA’s Fracking Scare