- House and Senate negotiators reach two-year budget deal
- Congress seeks ban on in-flight calls
- Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy site sold to owners of Townhall, HotAir: report
- GM’s Barra to be first woman to run top American carmaker
- China: Poisonous smog is a military asset, if you think about it
- Texas woman admits to sending ricin to Obama
- Ron Paul on son Rand: ‘I think he probably will’ run for president
- Cold War heats up again in the Arctic: Russian airfield reactivated after 20 years
- 6-year-old boy suspended for sexual harassment over kiss
- Voters deciding Mass. congressional contest
EPA offers details of its controversial fracking study
The public and the energy industry got their first glimpse Friday of a long-awaited study on the possible correlation between water pollution and fracking, but Obama administration officials said the full results and definitive findings of their study won't be released until 2014.
The review could have major implications for the U.S. natural gas boom spurred by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which has transformed the U.S. energy market and could revamp global energy flows.
The Environmental Protection Agency offered a "progress report" on its broad, multifaceted report, which includes data gathered from hundreds of natural gas and oil wells across the U.S. The study is the federal government's most ambitious look at fracking, which uses water, sand and chemical mixtures to crack underground rock and release previously inaccessible reserves of natural gas and other fuels.
The fracking boom has transformed local economies in Pennsylvania, North Dakota and elsewhere, while also putting the nation on track to become energy-independent.
But critics of the practice continue to claim fracking is unsafe and endangers local water supplies, and environmental groups have put increasing pressure on President Obama and governors such as New York's Andrew Cuomo to crack down on fracking and instead embrace renewable fuels.
The EPA study could become the key cornerstone of future federal efforts to limit fracking, and many congressional Republicans and oil and gas industry leaders remain leery of the science behind it.
In its progress report, the EPA explains how it is examining five major areas of the fracking "water cycle." They are: The impact of large water withdrawals, necessary to perform fracking; the possible impacts of fracking fluid surface spills and how they would affect drinking water resources; the implications of "injection and fracturing process" on drinking water resources; how "flowback" — wastewater generated by fracking — could affect water supplies; and the possible effects of inadequate treatment of fracking wastewater.
The EPA is conducting case studies at well sites in Colorado, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Texas. So far, the agency has collected samples from 70 domestic water wells, 15 monitoring wells and 13 surface water sources. It is also looking at "information on chemicals and practices" from a number of oil and gas companies, and is evaluating "well construction and fracturing records" provided by operators for 333 oil and gas wells across the U.S.
The study, the agency said, will undergo rigorous and independent peer review before being completed.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ben Wolfgang covers the White House for The Washington Times.
Before joining the Times in March 2011, Ben spent four years as a political reporter at the Republican-Herald in Pottsville, Pa.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- High court likely to allow Obama's clean-air rules
- Funding boost of $100M for mentally ill a 'small step'
- White House PR blitz hits states that rejected Medicaid expansion
- Obama tries to calm Israeli fears over Iranian nuke deal 'not based on trust'
- Obama, first lady will attend Mandela memorial services
Latest Blog Entries
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Harry Reid's visa pressure cooker
- Somber duty: U.S. presidents in hot demand at Mandela's memorial
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whiskey: U.K.-born expert
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- Galaxy S4 owner claims Samsung tried to silence him after phone caught fire
- FITTON: A closer look at the Benghazi lie
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
A column dedicated to discussing politics, national security, civil liberties, and education.
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
The “Silver Tsunami” created by aging Baby Boomers is hitting America. Let’s explore how we adjust to it, enjoy it and defy negative expectations about age.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow