Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) today released the following statement in response to the American Petroleum Institute's and America's Natural Gas Alliance's attack against the ongoing EPA study of the impact that the controversial natural gas extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing has on drinking water supplies. Hinchey is a leader in Congress of the effort to protect drinking water and the environment from the risks of hydraulic fracturing and was the author of the appropriations language that led to the current EPA study that the industry is now attacking. The congressman is a co-author of the FRAC Act, which would mandate public disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluid before and after drilling takes place and allow the EPA to regulate hydraulic fracking activities under the Safe Drinking Water Act.
"The shale gas industry has yet again launched a campaign to discredit independent and scientific research that questions the industry's claim that shale gas drilling presents no risks to the water we drink or the air we breathe. Today's industry target is the EPA, which has been working for over two years on a very public and transparent study on hydraulic fracturing and drinking water. Yesterday's targets were Duke University scientists who found that water supplies in the Marcellus Shale are at an increased risk for contamination from shale gas drilling. Before that, it was scientists at Cornell University who raised questions about shale gas's contribution to global warming.
"This EPA study is the first independent and comprehensive scientific review of the risks that hydraulic fracturing poses to drinking water. Despite industry's assurances that hydraulic fracturing is perfectly safe, there have been numerous examples of water contamination, air pollution and other significant problems associated with shale gas drilling. We need independent scientists to look into these issues, not the shale gas industry's lobbyists and their hired PR guns.
"Instead of accepting independent scientific criticism and taking steps to address legitimate concerns about the impact of shale gas drilling on our environment, the shale gas industry consistently works to undermine and discredit such independent work. The industry has no one to blame but itself for its troubles."