API charges EPA with distorting science in hydraulic fracturing study

Dec. 21, 2016

American Petroleum Institute (API) officials recently blasted the Environmental Protection Agency’s abandonment of science in revising the conclusions to the Assessment Report on hydraulic fracturing.

"It is beyond absurd for the (Obama) Administration to reverse course on its way out the door," said API Upstream Director Erik Milito. "The agency has walked away from nearly a thousand sources of information from published papers, technical reports, and peer reviewed scientific reports demonstrating that industry practices, industry trends, and regulatory programs protect water resources at every step of the hydraulic fracturing process. Decisions like this amplify the public's frustrations with Washington.   

"Fortunately, the science and data clearly demonstrate that hydraulic fracturing does not lead to widespread, systemic impacts to drinking water resources. Unfortunately, consumers have witnessed five years and millions of dollars expended only to see conclusion based in science changed to a conclusion based in political ambiguity. We look forward to working with the new administration in order to instill fact-based science back into the public policy process."

Hydraulic fracturing supports millions of US jobs, has increased supplies of oil and natural gas and has helped to put downward pressure on energy prices. It also has strengthened America's energy security and geopolitical position.

The United States is not only leading the world in the production of oil and natural gas due to fracking, it is also leading the world in reducing carbon emissions, according to API. In fact, clean-burning natural gas has driven emissions in the US power sector to 25-year lows. Consumers are also saving an average of $1,337 in energy costs per household and drivers saved $550 in fuel costs in 2015.

When asked in early December about the finalized report, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said: "We're going to stick with the science."

EPA's original findings are supported by academics and specialists in oil and gas engineering operations, hydrology and geology. The list of supporting evidence includes findings that no drinking water contamination as a result of hydraulic fracturing was found in the Marcellus, the Utica, the Barnett, the Permian, the Eagle Ford, the Woodford, the Fayetteville, the Haynesville, the Bakken, the Denver-Julesburg, the Piceance, the Raton, or any other shale formation where oil and gas resources are being developed through hydraulic fracturing.