This morning the EPA released its long-awaited, multi-year study of hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking,” though those of us with more refined sensibilities call it “rock-massaging”), and it’s going to be a major bummer for the anti-energy left. Here’s the Wall Street Journal headline:
A decade into an energy boom led by hydraulic fracturing, the Environmental Protection Agency has concluded there is no evidence the practice has had a “widespread, systemic impact on drinking water.”
The report is the federal government’s most comprehensive examination of the issue of fracking and drinking water, and it bolsters the position staked out by the energy industry and its supporters: that fracking can be carried out safely and doesn’t need to pose a threat to water.
A much-anticipated EPA report on hydraulic fracturing hands a victory to the oil and gas industry by concluding that the extraction process has “not led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources,” according to a draft copy of the agency’s release obtained by POLITICO.
The conclusions of EPA’s years-long fracking study may yet change ahead of their release later today, but they appear to bolster natural gas producers that are benefitting from Obama administration power plant rules.
If you’re a glutton for the full 1,000 pages of the EPA report (eventually I will be), the portal to the complete report and its appendices is here.
This would appear to be the key passage from the executive summary:
We did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States. Of the potential mechanisms identified in this report, we found specific instances where one or more mechanisms led to impacts on drinking water resources, including contamination of drinking water wells. The number of identified cases, however, was small compared to the number of hydraulically fractured wells.
Matt Damon and Mark Rufallo were unavailable for comment.