It is difficult to overstate the incredible benefits of the fracking energy revolution that is underway across America.
A recent report found that the Eagle Ford shale development in Texas is now producing 700,000 barrels of oil and natural gas liquids every day--up from zero just three years earlier. The economic benefits and job opportunities associated with this shale boom--not just in Texas but across the nation--is arguably the brightest spot in an otherwise still stagnant economy.
Unfortunately, a widely publicized handful of unsubstantiated charges that fracking pollutes ground water has led many to question the safety of this practice. The EPA is at the center of this debate, linking fracking to water contamination in at least three cases, only to be forced to retract their statements after further scrutiny.
It is against this backdrop that we are here to consider the Administration's request to spend nearly $40 million across several agencies studying the safety of hydraulic fracturing that would be carried out under a long-delayed and still unreleased research plan.
We all want to ensure safe and responsible production of oil and natural gas, but the combination of the Administration's track record on fracking and the delays associated with developing these plans provide cause for concern.
I look forward to hearing how we can support this energy revolution and avoid any unnecessary delay in its evaluation by the federal government.