The Obama EPA has bungled a lot—chief among their bungles was their attempt to prove a connection between fracking and water contamination in Pavillion, Wyoming. The EPA hoped that Pavillion would be the smoking gun—the single, solitary case (any case!) they could use as an excuse to (illegally) start regulating oil and gas drilling through the back door of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. But something happened on the way to the “we’ll take over regulating fracking from the states” ball: The wells the EPA used for their data in Pavillion were drilled by the EPA and the high levels of chemicals in the wells may have come from their own botched drilling job. Oops—maybe they ought to leave drilling to the experts. Lots of backpedaling ensued (see this MDN story).
Pavillion is in the news once again. The U.S. Geological Survey yesterday released a mother load of new data about the test wells (see their two reports embedded below). What do the new reports say? Neither those in favor of drilling nor those against drilling have weighed in yet—they’re now pouring over the data. Here’s three things you need to know about Pavillion and a possible link between fracking and water contamination: