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WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: Chairman Waxman Wants to Learn More about Hydraulic Fracturing – Here’s a List of Folks He Can Talk To

Energy In Depth: Fracturing is safe, effective and very much needed in the context of today’s enormous challenges related to energy, the economy, and the environment

EPA Officials Confirm Fracturing’s Safety

Steve Heare, director of EPA’s Drinking Water Protection Division: “State regulators are doing a good job overseeing a key natural gas production technique called hydrofracking and there’s no evidence the process causes water contamination, a senior federal environment official said Monday. … I have no information that states aren’t doing a good job already. He also said despite claims by environmental organizations, he hadn’t seen any documented cases that the hydro-fracking process was contaminating water supplies.” (Dow Jones, 2/15/10)

EPA Water Chief Peter Silva, EPA Compliance Administrator Cynthia Giles, and Assoc. EPA Water Director Matthew Larsen were asked the following straightforward question at a recent Senate hearing:

  • Do any one of you know of one case of ground water contamination that has resulted from hydraulic fracturing?

Their answer?

  • Not that I’m aware of, no.”

Fmr. EPA administrator and current White House energy czar Carol Browner: “EPA does not regulate – and does not believe it is legally required to regulate – the hydraulic fracturing of methane production wells … Moreover, given the horizontal and vertical distance between the drinking water well and the closest methane gas production wells, the possibility of contamination or endangerment of [drinking water] in the area is extremely remote.” (5/30/95)

EPA Study: “EPA found no confirmed cases that are linked to fracturing fluid injection into CBM wells or subsequent underground movement of fracturing fluids.” (2004)

U.S. House Members

Congressman Ed Markey (Mass.): “Ninety percent of all new electrical capacity in America since 1990 has been natural gas, and it’s going to continue on that way as a base load with the new mandates for renewable electricity in the states having a higher percentage increasingly coming from that source. But natural gas is going to do very well in the future, and the discoveries from the Marcellus Shale all the way through Barnett, that is all the way from New York down to Texas, are going to be big source of new electrical generation.” (12/2/09)

Congressman Doug Lamborn (Colo.): “Shale gas and other unconventional natural gas sources such as tight sands and coal bed methane provide more than 47 percent of the natural gas consumed in the U.S. annually. According to the Energy Information Administration, by 2030 these unconventional natural gas resources will provide 56 percent of the natural gas consumed by the United States. All of this was made possible through development of the Barnett Shale in Texas in the 1980s and 1990s, where innovative drilling techniques, horizontal drilling, combined with the safe long-standing practice of hydraulic fracturing, demonstrated that this unconventional fuel could be economically produced on a large scale.” (Roll Call, 2/8/10)

Congressman Dan Boren (Okla.): “Boren said he is working with Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., to tone down her bill to regulate hydraulic fracturing of oil- and gas-bearing formations. The legislation was introduced to protect water supplies from the contamination, but Boren said the procedure is already safe. ‘If you shut down fracking, you shut down the industry,’ he said.” (Tulsa World, 7/21/09)

Congressman John Sullivan (Okla.): “Hydraulic fracking is one of the ways that we’ve been able to get these 120 year reserves. … For 60 years, they’ve been using. There’s not one – not one instance – that it’s leaked into groundwater. … There’s not one instance of it. … It’s going to create jobs in America.” (CNBC’s Mad Money, 2/8/10)

Congressman John Fleming (La.):
“For years this process has been safely and effectively regulated by individual States; and of the more than 1 million wells fractured, not a single case of drinking water contamination has ever been recorded. … The casing, cement specifications and cementing process are governed by state and federal regulations as well as industry standards. In every case this process is supervised by state agency officials. Federal regulation of “hydrofracking” under the EPA would result in a sharp increase in costs to small and independent producers, as well as a dramatic decrease in output and job creation.” (Floor remarks, 6/23/09)

Congressman Earl Pomeroy (N.D.):
“The [FRAC Act] is potentially very threatening to the oil exploration and recovery activity underway in North Dakota. It’s one of these pieces of legislation that is a solution in search of a problem.” (Dickinson Press, 7/17/09)

Congressman Cliff Stearns (Fla.): “Since the 1940s, hydraulic fracturing has helped to produce more than 7 billion barrels of oil and 600 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the United States. … Hydraulic fracturing is essential to produce more of the oil and natural gas that the U.S. will consume in the next decades ahead. … Without [fracturing] most of our country’s abundant natural gas resources cannot be produced.” (Committee remarks, 1/20/10)

Congressman Glenn Thompson (Pa.): “Despite its clear record of environmental safety (a million wells drilled, not a single documented case of contamination) and stringent regulation by the states, a bill introduced earlier this summer would hand the regulatory reins over fracking to the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington. … In hydraulic fracturing, we now have the tools we need to confront these challenges in a safe and effective way. And if history is a guide, you can bet that’s exactly what we’ll do.” (Washington Examiner, 9/20/09)

Congressman Gene Greene (Texas): “Hydraulic fracturing is a well-tested technology that has been used to develop energy for over 60 years. … Hydraulic fracturing, as used to produce natural gas from shale formations, has created new opportunities for clean energy and employment without causing environmental damage. Recent studies on fracturing conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2004 found no confirmed evidence of contamination of drinking water. …. Congress should not restrict a technology that plays such an integral part of our nation’s energy strategy.” (Floor remarks, 6/25/09)

“With recent advances in technology to extract more natural gas from unconventional gas resources, such as extended reach, horizontal drilling or hydraulic fracturing, we can unlock America’s 100 years’ supply of natural gas. This hydrofracking, U.S.?developed technology, is being exported to Europe and China.” (Committee remarks, 1/20/10)

Congressman John Shadegg (Ariz.):
“A vast majority of our domestic supply is accessible only through hydraulic fracturing, a technique that has been used to extract gasoline or oil for more than 50 years. The EPA itself found, quote, “no confirmed cases that are linked to fracturing fluid injection into CBM wells or subsequent underground movement of fracturing.” … EPA did not find confirmed evidence that drinking water wells have been contaminated by hydraulic fracturing. … If we ban hydraulic fracturing, either outright or through the unintended consequences of legislation we pass, then all of these numbers that we have been talking about ?? the 100?year supply, the reasonable price that you just talked about ?? you would tell me are gone.” (Committee remarks, 1/20/10)

Congressman Fred Upton (Mich.): “The oil and natural gas industry supports more than 9 million American jobs and adds more than $1 trillion to the national economy. I hope I don’t need to remind our colleagues about the state of our economy, that unemployment is still in double digits nationally and 15 percent in Michigan. … Without that hydraulic fracturing, you wouldn’t be able to get, what, 20 percent, maybe out of these fields?” (Committee remarks, 1/20/10)

Congressman Mike Doyle (Pa.): “Last year alone Pennsylvania could attribute nearly 50,000 jobs to environmentally safe natural gas production.” (Committee remarks, 1/20/10)

Congressman Greg Walden (Ore.): “It looks to me like if we can invest in our own resources using new technologies in environmentally safe ways, we can generate revenues to the government and create jobs in our hometowns. (Committee remarks, 1/20/10)

Congressman Steve Scalise (La,): “So this really has nothing to do with safety. It is about a policy decision we are going to make, and do we really want to utilize the resource that this country has and the ability that we have to make our country independent of especially Middle Eastern oil, countries that don’t necessarily want to do good things with the money that they are getting to our country.” (Committee remarks, 1/20/10)

U.S. Senators

Senator Dorgan Byron Dorgan (N.D.): “Decade after decade, no one has found any evidence that there is any contamination with hydraulic fracturing. … I am not aware of any evidence that there is any contamination of groundwater with hydraulic fracturing when companies have followed the appropriate guidelines and regulations.” (Floor remarks, 7/27/09)

Senator Sen. Jim Inhofe (Okla.): “America has tremendous natural gas reserves. The exploration and production of these reserves using hydraulic fracturing has been regulated by the States and conducted safely for 60 years.” (Floor remarks, 7/27/09)

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