NWF commends EPA for revisiting "fracking" issue

New study on critical energy development issue should be rigorous, robust and reliable

03-18-2010 // Blair Johnson

The National Wildlife Federation today applauded the Environmental Protection Agency for its promise to take a hard look at how chemicals used in energy development affect the quality of our drinking water.

Also known as "fracking," hydraulic fracturing is a commonly-used method to extract natural gas in which a solution of water, sand and chemicals is injected into underground rock formations at high pressure. The EPA study announced today is a follow-up to one conducted in 2004 about hydraulic fracturing fluids.

“We’re hopeful that this EPA investigation will be more rigorous, robust and reliable than the one done during the Bush Administration,” said Jim Lyon, vice president of Conservation Policy for the National Wildlife Federation. “If we care about protecting the quality of our drinking water, EPA needs to rely on the best available science and get its information from independent sources, not just industry.”

Although the National Wildlife Federation welcomes the new investigation into so-called “fracking” fluids, Lyon said it needs to be conducted with a sense of urgency.

“A thorough, scientific analysis is long overdue,” Lyon said, “but this study shouldn’t be an excuse for delaying action on such an important issue. Natural gas is being touted as a relatively clean-burning, domestic source of energy, but current methods used to get it out of the ground are polluting our air and water and pose significant threats to wildlife.”

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