Inhofe Statement on EPA Announcement on Hydraulic Fracturing
December 8, 2011

Contacts:

Matt Dempsey Matt_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-9797

Katie Brown Katie_Brown@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-2160

Inhofe Statement on EPA Announcement on Hydraulic Fracturing

Link to Greenwire: EPA chief's comments on fracking 'contradictory' -- Inhofe 

Washington, D.C. - Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, commented after speaking with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson about EPA's announcement today that hydraulic fracturing is the cause of water contamination in Pavillion, Wyoming.   

"EPA's conclusions are not based on sound science but rather on political science.  Its findings are premature, given that the Agency has not gone through the necessary peer-review process, and there are still serious outstanding questions regarding EPA's data and methodology," Senator Inhofe said. 

"This announcement is part of President Obama's war on fossil fuels and his determination to shut down natural gas production.   Unfortunately for Americans, his agenda destroys good paying jobs in one of the few industries that is thriving, and increases our dependence on foreign oil.  

"As recently as November 9, 2011 EPA Regional Administrator James Martin said that the results of the latest round of testing in Pavillion were not significantly different from the first two rounds of testing, which showed no link between hydraulic fracturing and contamination.  Yet only a few weeks later, EPA has decided the opposite.  EPA is clearly not prepared to be making conclusions.

"There is a pattern emerging here.  Just a few months ago, the EPA Inspector General found that EPA cut corners on the endangerment finding to come to what appears to be a predetermined conclusion to regulate greenhouse gases.  This most recent study on hydraulic fracturing is apparently more of the same in the Obama Administration's ongoing war on affordable energy. 

"It is irresponsible for EPA to release such an explosive announcement without objective peer review. Given the serious flaws in EPA's process, I have asked EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to release all the data, methodologies and protocols that have been used, and she has made a commitment to do so.  Also, because this study is a new scientific inquiry and these methods will be used nationwide, I strongly believe that it should be considered a Highly Influential Scientific Study (HISA) and undergo the required objective peer review process.  I hope Administrator Jackson will agree to this, and, as Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, I will continue to ensure that there is rigorous oversight over EPA's process."   

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