New Report Says EPA Fracking Study Methods Need Help

You need helpA major new report was released yesterday from the Battelle Memorial Institute that reviews the Environmental Protection Agency’s stated plan to study hydraulic fracturing and its impacts on water. The 166-page report (embedded below) says the EPA has it wrong with how they are proceeding.

The report was funded by the American Petroleum Institute (API) and America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA), perhaps the two largest energy-related associations in the U.S. (ranked by funding). So the obligatory “but it was funded by the industry!” arguments will come out, to be sure. But you can’t argue with the findings in this report. Battelle is an independent non-profit, science and technology research and development organization with an excellent reputation—a reputation they want to keep.

This is not an industry shill report, but a serious look at how the EPA might better conduct a serious scientific investigation, rather than a sham pretense for an activist government bent on phasing out fossil fuels.

Contrary to what most think, API and ANGA do not want the EPA’s fracking study to end—they just want it to be done right.

API senior policy advisor Stephanie Meadows told reporters this morning that more collaboration was needed on EPA’s study on hydraulic fracturing and drinking water. She said a new Battelle Memorial Institute report concluded that the study could be enhanced in several ways, including encouraging more stakeholder collaboration. API and America’s Natural Gas Alliance sponsored the Battelle report:

“Battelle’s analysis of the plan for EPA’s study reinforces many of our previously stated concerns about the study and raises new ones. It finds deficiencies in the rigor, funding, focus and stakeholder inclusiveness of the plan.

“We intend Battelle’s report to be – and hope the agency sees it as – our continued interest in working together to produce the most scientifically sound study possible.

“A robust, thorough, careful study is important because it has the potential to affect the future course of shale energy development, which has enormous potential for improving our energy security and economy for decades to come.

“We’re not calling on EPA to stop its study. We’re calling on them to do it right. We hope Battelle’s analysis will encourage that.”*

*American Petroleum Institute (Jul 10, 2012) – More collaboration needed on EPA hydraulic fracturing study

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