EPA to rig ‘independent’ review of fracking report

The EPA has already been caught cheating on this report. No doubt the agency will load up the “independent” panel with toadies for a whitewash.

The Hill reports,

The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking scientists to volunteer for what promises to be a closely watched job: reviewing its politically explosive report about groundwater contamination from hydraulic fracturing in a Wyoming natural-gas field.

The agency plans to publish a Federal Register notice Tuesday seeking nominations for scientists to peer review the draft study released in December about contamination near Pavillion, Wyo.

The report found that chemicals found in groundwater likely stem from hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking,” the controversial drilling method that’s enabling a gas production boom but bringing pollution fears along with it. The process involves high-pressure injections of water, sand and chemicals to break apart rocks formations to enable trapped oil-and-gas to flow.

EPA’s draft finding, if borne out, would undercut industry claims that there’s no evidence of fracking polluting groundwater.

That would hand ammunition to environmentalists seeking tougher federal regulation of fracking, including the repeal of a 2005 law that exempts fracking from Safe Drinking Water Act underground injection rules.

But EPA’s testing methods have faced heavy criticism from industry groups and other fracking advocates that call the report badly flawed.

The upcoming Federal Register notice seeks scientists and engineers with expertise in petroleum geology, hydrology, geophysics and other fields.

8 thoughts on “EPA to rig ‘independent’ review of fracking report”

  1. Mr. France, thank you for correcting citizen’s terminology and helping me see the misuse. I have been made aware of bad science since cyclamate sweeteners were banned as carcinogens. The test procedure was poor and the result was not repeatable. My position has become that A fair amount of government and “activist” science(?) must prove that the research was correctly and accurately done and the results true and repeatable.

  2. Dr. weaver et al:
    None of you report on the dangerous chemicals petroleum based oils and solvents used in cracking. Thousands of tiny oil and gas wells now dot the western states. Think of the classic image of those tiny oil well pumps on Texas farms. These tiny wells also escape,EPAmregulations due to their small size. thousands of residences have no potable water as a direct course of cracking. Air quality is also compromised due to the release of gases and chemicals across thousands of acres causing respiratory problems in the residents who unwitting,y allowed or were forced by mineral rights agreements to have these miniwellsmon their lands. See GASLAND, THE MOVIE for more startling images, such as people lighting up the water flowing from their kitchen sinks with a match because their water is so toxic and laced with flammable gases and solvents. Then tell me there is no harm in cracking!

  3. I read the draft report. Yes, the drillers screwed up and fracked a deep aquifer. However, EPA’s analysis of the chemistry and related microbiology is wrong. The guar gum in the frack fluids anaerobically decomposed producing the acetate and other fatty acids in the water along with producing H2S from Na2SO4 which probably reacted with iron in the soil producing FeS (insoluble) and NaOH (soluble). The NaOH and the KOH in the drilling fluids then precipitated out the CaCO3 and resulted in the high pH, low Ca, low Mg, low SO4 high vinegar water found. However, the guar gum addition is a food additive — nothing dangerous — so the chemistry changes by this material were ignored even when it was a major component of the fracking fluid.

  4. Mr. Baumholder–
    With all due respect the greens are not facing a dilemma. While some pretend to support Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) as a means of using coal for electric generation without harmful (LOL) greenhouse emissions, other have already staked out positions against it based on 1) the idea that all carbon-based energy is evil and/or 2) pumping CO2 underground will cause catastrophe in its own right. Make no mistake, while the watermelons (green outside, red inside,) may demand CCS today, they’ll turn rabidly against it the instant it appears practical–which anyhow is most likely never. One is reminded of what a conservative Democrat–back when there were such creatures–once said about Liberals on the Senate Armed Services Committee: “They are always firmly in support of whatever defense system you are not trying to build at the moment.”

  5. Wouldn’t injecting CO2 at high pressure into underground locations (Carbon Capture and Storage) potentially cause fracking? The gang-greens may be facing a dilemma.

  6. Sadly the report doesn’t even say what the EPA claims. They found chemicals related to fracking in the EPA wells drilled into the fractured zone. So what. They found nothing significant in the drinking water wells they tested. Since a natural gas reservior, fracked or not, is a poor location for a drinking water well, not many are found in them.

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