EPA draft report: Those f- – – -ing jobs have got to be stopped

Is there no job the Obama administration will not seek to destroy?

This week the EPA released a draft report claiming hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking, of shallow natural gas wells in Wyoming may be contaminating drinking water in a community called Pavillion.

In the past decade, fracking has revolutionized the oil and gas industry in this country, allowing companies to extract oil and gas from tight shale and sandstone formations that previously were not economically feasible. (See the video below for a better explanation.)

George Mitchell

Fracking itself is nothing new, the technique has been used since the 1940s. Pressurized water, sand and lubricating chemicals are pumped down a well and into the rock below, causing fracturing of the formation, thus allowing oil and gas to flow into the well tubing and up to the surface.

But Texan George Mitchell — whose Christie, Mitchell and Mitchell I briefly worked for as a roustabout in the 1960s, proving some get filthy rich in the grease orchard, but most just get filthy — spent 18 years experimenting with the technique to create the modern boomlet in shale gas production that has driven down the price of natural gas to historic lows and created many thousands of jobs. He combined fracking and slant oil drilling so one well could tap what previously would have taken dozens of wells.

Fort Worth Museum of Science and History

(If you’re ever down in Fort Worth, over by the stockyards, pay a visit to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History and check out the Energy Blast — a theater-ride-show-education in 4-D, replete with watery dinosaur breath, that tells the 14 billion-year story of Barnett Shale and how it is being accessed with fracking techniques today.)

But the environmentalist have gone Chicken Little crazy, trying to find some shred of evidence that fracking could cause some problem, somewhere, somehow — even though logic would indicate that fewer wells drilling through the drinking water aquifers would reduce the risk of contamination. But what’s logic got to do with a good job-killing panic?

AP quoted Kate Sinding, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council in New York City, as saying of the draft EPA report, “In Wyoming, EPA is recognizing what experts — along with families in fracking communities across the country — have known for some time. Fracking poses serious threats to safe drinking water.”

The website Energy in Depth raises some serious questions about the report.

It points out that the contamination detected by EPA comes not from actual drinking water wells but from two monitoring wells drilled far deeper than most water wells. The EPA drilled those wells into a hydrocarbon-bearing formation. Might that explain the presence of hydrocarbons?

Energy in Depth noted that chemicals were used to drill the monitoring wells and there is a possibility those chemicals are what is being detected in the water rather than chemicals from gas wells.

The EPA draft itself points out that benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (BTEX) were detected in one monitoring well. The problem with this startling discovery is: “BTEX and trimethyl benzenes were not detected in concentrated solutions of drilling additives.”

Also, the draft has not been peer reviewed and the EPA ignored Wyoming’s request to delay the release of the draft until it was properly reviewed.

“The draft report coming out of the EPA today is reckless,” said Bruce Hinchey, president of the Petroleum Association of Wyoming. “Let me be clear, the EPA’s findings indicate that there is no connection between oil and natural gas operations and impacts to domestic water wells. Unsubstantiated statements coming from the EPA today stretch the data and cause unwarranted alarm and concern about a proven technology that allows our industry to safely extract oil and natural gas. The EPA’s announcement is irresponsible and leads us to call into question its motives.”

Never let the facts stand in the way of a good job-killing stampede.

11 comments on “EPA draft report: Those f- – – -ing jobs have got to be stopped

  1. BHO doesn’t want America jobs! He wants ALL to live like his family in Kenya.

  2. Some of us are headed that way, Bruce. Did you see the WSJ edit proving the NLRB is nothing but a hammer for labor?



  3. Steve says:

    The water wells that were contaminated in were simply among the first of the fracking operations. The drillers have all stepped up and cleaned up their operations. I read this AP story and even it spelled this out.

    Another conclusion of this could well be a EPA trying to remain in forefront of the public eye so it can grab as much bureaucracy saving money as it can wrap its hands around, saving their jobs , to hell with anyone else.

    Trouble with things like an EPA (or NLRB and unions for that matter) is if they do their jobs right they will not have anything more to do so they have to invent things to make themselves look needed.
    This is not to say EPA did not have a positive influence at the early stages of the fracking boom. The did make every one clean up their acts. Releasing an unproven report is just grandstanding and it wont stop any one from drilling, there is just too much money in it, thankfully.

  4. Steve says:

    Thank goodness I don’t make my living as a proofreader….

  5. I hope you are right, Steve.


  6. Athos says:

    Cut their budget to the bone (EPA). Eliminate the buggy whip department.

  7. Dee Ann says:

    Thank you for pointing out what many seem to forget… Fracking is neither new nor has it been proven that it is the cause of the contamination of water wells. As an employee of “Big, Bad Oil” I am tired of the oil and gas industry being portraited as the cause of everything that goes wrong. But I guess it is guilty until proven innocent, especially if you are an industry that actually turns a profit and is not in need of a government bailout.

    Also, I appreciate the mention of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. I echo the recommendation.

  8. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203833104577070572768248242.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_AboveLEFTTop
    Thanks for the link.
    So, when do you predict the revolt, civil war will begin? The Army turned me down for a re-enlistment a few years ago, a little long in the tooth but as I said to them at the time, I may be getting older BUT I can still pull a trigger!

  9. Except for the dinosaur breath, Dee?


  10. Hopefully, the revolution will come at the ballot box next year, Bruce.


  11. Steve says:

    Hopefully the revolution at the ballots is a continuation of the midterms!

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