EPA Launches Study on Hydraulic Fracturing
Jane Van Ryan
Posted March 18, 2010
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that it will launch a study into the oil and natural gas production practice known as hydraulic fracturing. According to a press statement, EPA will focus on fracking's potential impact on water quality and public health.
In recent weeks, members of Congress and environmental groups have been calling for a study despite the fact that EPA released a similar study in 2004 that found no confirmed cases where fracking had contaminated drinking water.
Hydraulic fracturing has been used in an estimated one million wells.
In response to the new study's announcement, API issued the following statement:
"We expect the study to confirm what 60 years of experience and investigation have already demonstrated: that hydraulic fracturing is a safe and well understood technology for producing oil and natural gas. We hope the agency will provide ample opportunity for stakeholder comment and participation during the course of its study. Our members are experts on well construction and development and on safe and effective hydraulic fracturing operations.
While the technology has been used for more than a half century, its continued use is crucial. It is enabling access to massive new supplies of natural gas trapped in shale formations across the United States. These new finds have multiplied the nation's natural gas resources and will help generate electricity, heat homes and power vehicles for generations of Americans to come. Development of this natural gas also will mean thousands of new U.S. jobs and help the nation reduce its greenhouse gas emissions."
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