- States wrestle with developing, restricting drones
- Japan marks 3rd anniversary of tsunami disasters
- Ukraine’s Crimea seeks to become independent state
- Ex-Gov. Christie aides to judge: Quash subpoenas
- Rich Peverley collapses on Dallas Stars bench; game postponed
- Al Sharpton, Trayvon Martin’s parents rally against Fla. ‘stand your ground’ law
- Hillary Clinton campaign got illicit funds from D.C. scandal figure
- Obama administration backs off plan to cut prescription-drug program
- Tickets linked to stolen passports purchased by Iranian middleman
- More than 3,500 police planned for Boston Marathon
Fracking’s safety gets boost from federal research
Preliminary data finds no link to water supply contamination
The leading federal research effort into the controversial drilling method known as fracking has turned up no evidence so far linking the process to water contamination — a connection continually drawn by many environmentalist critics along with some Democrats in Congress.
Department of Energy research, being conducted at a Marcellus Shale natural gas well in western Pennsylvania, thus far has shown that chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing practice have stayed thousands of feet below drinking-water supplies.
The study was begun about a year ago, but federal officials say final results are still months away.
“We are still in the early stages of collecting, analyzing and validating data from this site. While nothing of concern has been found thus far, the results are far too preliminary to make any firm claims. We expect a final report on the results by the end of the calendar year,” says a statement from the department’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.
While the study has yet to be finalized, the oil and natural gas industry is seizing on the initial findings. The fracking boom has led to a massive surge in U.S. natural gas supplies and is helping to rewrite the global balance of power among energy suppliers.
“It’s important that we continue to seek partnerships that can study these issues and inform the public of the findings,” she told The Associated Press.
Ms. Klaber’s organization represents companies doing business in the Marcellus Shale, one of the largest known natural gas deposits in the world.
Pennsylvania, particularly towns in the northern and western parts of the state, have reaped enormous economic benefits from the natural gas extracted from the Marcellus.
A similar renaissance in American oil and natural gas production also is taking place in North Dakota and other states across the nation, largely due to the expansion and development of fracking.
But there are many detractors, who say fracking — the use of water, sand and chemicals to crack underground rock and free natural gas — is dangerous for the environment. Specifically, they argue that the practice is inherently harmful to water supplies.
Such claims formed the basis of the recent documentary “Gasland 2,” a highly critical look at fracking and its impacts in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
Recent research from the federal government and state officials, however, indicates that fracking — when done correctly and in line with proper rules and environmental regulations — is safe.
In addition to last week’s initial results from the Energy Department, there was an April determination by Pennsylvania investigators that fracking isn’t to blame for high methane levels in three families’ drinking water in a northern Pennsylvania town.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency also has dropped its plan to have independent, third-party scientists review findings that fracking contaminated groundwater in Pavillion, Wyo.
© Copyright 2014 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 email@example.com.
- White House: Exporting natural gas to Europe, Ukraine not the answer
- China's President Xi urges Obama to show restraint with Russia, urges diplomatic solution
- Russia besieges Crimea as U.S. seeks diplomacy; Putin remains undeterred by Obama's sanctions
- Ukrainian Prime Minister Yatsenyuk to meet with Obama at White House
- Cruz: Putin taking advantage of Obama's weakness
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
- FCC targets black conservative in TV station fight
- Hillary Clinton campaign received funds from Jeffrey Thompson
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- EDITORIAL: Senate Democrats pointless all-night global warming talkathon
- CARNES: Kissinger's flawed and offensive analysis of Ukraine
- Atheists sue to remove 'Ground Zero Cross' from 9/11 museum
- Man with stolen passport on missing jet is asylum seeker
- Al Qaeda to launch English-language Web magazine 'Resurgence'
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: 'We are going to crush them'
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again