House Repubs Struggle To Make Case Against Safety Study Into Controversial Gas Drilling Technique

Subject, tone of hearing signal oil and gas industry's growing desperation


Kathleen Sutcliffe, Earthjustice (202) 667-4500, ext. 235

In a hearing of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee today, majority members struggled to make the case against a study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency into a controversial gas drilling technique. The agency is midway into a multi-year investigation of the drinking water impacts of hydraulic fracturing (or fracking), a process in which oil and gas companies blast millions of gallons of chemically-treated water into the earth to extract the gas from underground deposits.

The following is a statement from Earthjustice Legislative Associate Jessica Ennis:

“Today’s hearing begs the question: if hydraulic fracturing is not dangerous, what does the oil and gas industry have to hide? If fracking poses no threat to drinking water, why does the industry need an exemption from the Safe Drinking Water Act?

“We did not get answers to either of these questions today. And as the number of explosions, industrial accidents, and spills continue to mount in communities where gas drilling is underway, questions about the safety of this process are only multiplying.

“What was made perfectly clear in today’s hearing is that the oil and gas industry is getting desperate. They see the tides of public opinion turning ever more against them and are doing everything they can to suppress information about their practices.

“Politicians should not aid in this cynical agenda. They need to get out of the way and let the scientists do their job. The millions of Americans whose drinking water and air quality is at stake deserve no less.”

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