WATCH: Obama Nominee Wodder Refuses to Retract Statement that Hydraulic Fracturing ‘has a nasty track record of creating a toxic chemical soup that pollutes groundwater and streams...'
July 28, 2011

Contacts:

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

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

WATCH: Obama Nominee Wodder Refuses to Retract Statement that Hydraulic Fracturing ‘has a nasty track record of creating a toxic chemical soup that pollutes groundwater and streams...'

Inhofe Calls On Obama To Withdraw Nominee

 

Obama Nominee Wodder Refuses to Retract Statement on Hydraulic Fracturing  

Washington D.C.-Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, commented on testimony given today by Rebecca Wodder, President Obama's nominee to be Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks for the Department of the Interior.  At a Senate Energy and Natural Resources hearing this morning, Ms. Wodder refused to retract her previous statement that hydraulic fracturing "has a nasty track record of creating a toxic chemical soup that pollutes groundwater and streams..."

"Ms. Wodder's testimony today has only confirmed my initial concerns about her nomination," Senator Inhofe said. "During the hearing, Senator Murkowski provided an opportunity for Ms. Wodder to retract her previous statement that hydraulic fracturing 'has a nasty track record of creating a toxic chemical soup that pollutes groundwater and streams...'  Yet, she refused, proving herself to be beholden to an extremist environmental agenda.  Ms. Wodder's statement, of course, counters the testimony of EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and several Obama administration officials who have repeatedly said before Congress that there has not been a single confirmed case of groundwater contamination due to the hydraulic fracturing process.

"The selection of Ms. Wodder for this position is a clear demonstration of the Obama administration's hostility towards natural gas development.  I am calling on the President to withdraw her nomination. If he does not, I will work with my colleagues to defeat her nomination in the Senate."

Related:

Inhofe Op Ed: Federal interference in energy development regulation a bad idea (The Hill)

Politico Pro: Republicans object to DOI nominee's past views on fracking, meat

Inhofe Troubled By Obama Administration Nomination of Rebecca Wodder

EPA Jackson 'Not Aware of Any Proven Case Where the Fracking Process Itself Has Affected Water'

Obama Administration: No Documented Cases of Hydraulic Fracturing Contamination

TRANSCRIPT FROM EXCHANGE WITH MURKOWSKI OVER HYDRAULIC FRACTURING

Sen. Murkowski

One last question and I think it will be very quick. This relates to the quote that Senator Barrasso made relating to hydraulic fracturing and this is your quote that "Hydraulic fracturing has a nasty track record of creating a toxic chemical soup that pollutes ground water." Senator Barrasso also mentioned that Administrator Jackson has told Congress that, there have been quote "No proven cases where the fracking process itself has affected water." Do you stand by your statement, if this is an opportunity to retract your statement, I'd like to give you that opportunity to do so.

Ms. Wodder

Thank you Senator Murkowski. As I've said, I believe natural gas is an important part of the energy mix for this country, I think that it needs to be approached in a careful way so at the same time we don't, as we're developing that resource, contaminate other important resources like clean water.

Sen. Murkowski

I agree with that, but do you agree or do you stand by your statement that there is a nasty track record of creating a toxic, chemical soup that pollutes groundwater?

Ms. Wodder

I believe there has been any number of press reports and also academic studies that have found  numerous incidences of both accidental and intentional spills of fracking fluids into surface and groundwater-

Sen. Murkowski

Even though the Administrator has said there are no proven cases where the fracking process itself has affected water?

Ms. Wodder

I think there is a distinction between the fracking process itself and activities surrounding hydraulic fracturing that have led to some contamination. Most companies operate responsibly and strive to avoid those sorts of accidental and occasionally intentional spills. There certainly have been many records of fines that have been levied against a few companies that have had those sorts of problems.

Sen. Murkowski

I take it you don't retract your statement. 

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