WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, released the following statement in regards to the final report released today by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) review of domestic water wells in Pavillion, Wyoming.
“The Wyoming DEQ’s thorough investigation over the past several years has come to a close and confirms what we’ve known all along: hydraulic fracturing has not impacted drinking water resources. The report puts to rest the faulty work of the EPA that attempted to link water contamination to hydraulic fracturing in 2011. Recall, the Obama administration’s EPA sought to ‘crucify’ the oil and gas industry through heavy-handed enforcement and witch-hunt probes into hydraulic fracturing in Pavillion, Wyoming; Dimock, Pennsylvania; and Parker County, Texas—then subsequently recanted in each case. Ultimately, the facts have prevailed and the record is abundantly clear, with even the EPA affirming that ‘hydraulic fracturing activities have not led to widespread, systemic impacts to drinking water resources’ in its landmark water study.
“The industry’s innovation in recent years coupled with states’ responsible oversight of their local natural resources has been a principal foundation for economic recovery in the United States. We are also on a path towards real energy independence due to the shale gas and oil revolution, bolstering our national security at a time when we face historic global instability. This is in spite of the fear-mongering tactics by environmental activists behind the nonsensical “keep-it-in-the-ground movement” aimed at putting an end to fossil fuels. For these reasons I look forward to the Trump Administration’s embrace of the robust benefits that accompany safe hydraulic fracturing.”
Oversight conducted by Senate EPW Republicans of EPA’s investigation of hydraulic fracturing:
On Oct. 27, Inhofe along with Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) sent a letter to Sally Jewell, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior requesting the Department clarify its role in the Interagency Working Group on Greenhouse Gases, which is responsible for developing estimates used to justify costly regulations on the oil and gas sector.
On May 24, Inhofe sent two letters to Special Assistant to the President Dan Utech, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, and EPA Acting Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation Janet McCabe regarding the Obama Administration’s Strategy to Reduce Methane. One letter questioned the costs and benefits of EPA’s final methane rules for the oil and gas sector, specifically EPA’s use of the speculative social cost of methane metric used to provide the sole quantified benefits. The second letter questioned the EPA’s methane white papers, which the Agency cited as a basis for its climate change mandates on the oil and gas industry.
On May 20, Inhofe joined Sens. Vitter (R-La.), Bill Cassidy, MD (R-La.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and John Hoeven (R-N.D.), in a letter to EPA Administrator McCarthy regarding the Agency’s revised methane emission estimates in its 2016 Greenhouse Gas Inventory.
On May 12, Inhofe released a statement on EPA’s final methane regulations for new, modified, and reconstructed oil and gas systems.
On April 13, Inhofe joined Sens. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and John Barrasso (R-Wy.) in sending a letter to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Administrator Howard Shelanski on the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed rule for waste prevention of methane emissions.
On April 13, Inhofe joined Lankford in sending a letter to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Administrator Howard Shelanski on the EPA’s social cost of methane estimates in its proposed rule for methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.
On March 10, Inhofe released a statement after the Obama administration announced a pact with Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada, to reduce methane emissions from new and existing sources.
On Jan. 22, Inhofe released a statement after the Bureau of Land Management announcement proposing their new methane rule.
On Jan. 13, Inhofe released a comprehensive timeline of the Senate EPW Republican’s oversight efforts on hydraulic fracturing dating back to the beginning of the Obama Administration in 2009.
On Jan., 7 Inhofe released a statement regarding the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) draft final report on domestic water wells in Pavillion, Wyoming. Wyoming DEQ’s December 14, 2015, report reaffirms the findings of federal and state officials discrediting the 2011 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) draft study on the same issue. This report further bolsters EPA’s finding that hydraulic fracturing “has not led to widespread systemic impacts on drinking water resources” and highlights why the Agency should ignore calls by its Science Advisory Board (SAB) to include debunked unscientific assessments in its final water study.
On Dec. 7, 2015, Inhofe sent a letter to Gina McCarthy, administrator of EPA, raising concerns over EPA’s application of the social cost of methane (SCM) in EPA’s proposed rule for methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.
On Aug. 18, 2015, Inhofe released a statement on EPA’s proposed methane regulations to stifle the U.S. oil and gas industry.
On June 11, 2015, Inhofe led a group of Senate Republicans in a letter to President Obama opposing new federal mandates regulating methane emissions from the oil and natural gas sector.
On June 4, 2015, Inhofe provided a statement after EPA released a report on hydraulic fracturing again confirming the extraction process has ‘not led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources.’
At an April 14, 2015, EPW subcommittee hearing, Inhofe questioned Inspector General Arthur Elkins, Jr. of the EPA on its investigation into states’ ability to regulate hydraulic fracturing.
On March 20, 2015, Inhofe introduced S. 828, The Fracturing Regulations are Effective in State Hands (FRESH) Act, which would recognize hydraulic fracturing as a commercial practice and keep regulations under state management.
On February 12, 2015, Inhofe introduced S. 490, the Federal Land Freedom Act of 2015, which would give states the authority to establish programs to lease, permit, and regulate the development of all forms of energy resources, including renewables, on federal lands within their border.
On October, 23, 2014, the Senate EPW Committee Minority Staff released a report, Setting the Record Straight: Hydraulic Fracturing and America’s Energy Revolution, which uncovers the truth behind the science and economic benefits of hydraulic fracturing. The report also exposes the depth of the Obama administration’s war on oil and natural gas development.
On October 2, 2014, Inhofe sent a letter to Inspector General Arthur Elkins, Jr. of the EPA raising concerns over its investigation into states’ ability to regulate hydraulic fracturing.
In October 2014, the Groundwater Protection Council (GWPC), a nonprofit organization comprised of state regulatory agencies focused on the protection of water resources, released a comprehensive report highlighting the cutting edge oil and natural gas regulatory structures of states, including those concerning hydraulic fracturing. The review concludes that “In step with dramatic industry growth over the past five years, states have substantially improved groundwater protection laws and regulations governing oil and natural gas production.” The GWPC also runs a chemical disclosure registry on hydraulic fracturing, which can viewed by clicking here. The GWPC also runs a disclosure registry of hydraulic fracturing chemicals.
On February 26, 2014, Republican Senators from EPA’s Region 6 sent a letter to Inspector General Arthur Elkins, Jr. of EPA’s office of the IG with concerns about the quality and integrity of the OIG report, which investigated EPA’s Region 6’s issuance and withdrawal of an emergency order aimed at Range Resources, an oil and gas company operating in Parker County, Texas.
On June 20, 2013, Inhofe and Vitter released the following statements after EPA ended its politicized investigation into a hydraulic fracturing project near Pavillion, Wyoming because its initial assessment lacked a basis in credible science.
On January 17, 2013, Inhofe and Vitter sent a letter to then-EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, questioning EPA’s procedural and scientific shortcomings in conducting the draft Pavillion report.
On July 25, 2012, EPA declared that the well water in Dimock, Pennsylvania is safe to drink and requires no further testing.
On June 29, 2012, Inhofe released a statement following the Sierra Club’s announcement that former EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz was hired by the Sierra Club to be the Campaign Representative for the organization’s Beyond Coal campaign. Inhofe predicted that Dr. Armendariz skipped his testimony in the House in June 2012 for a job interview at the Sierra Club.
On June 19. 2012, Senate EPW Republicans sent a letter to the Inspector General’s office of the EPA requesting an investigation to determine if proper protocols and procedures were followed by EPA Headquarters and Region 6 surrounding their issuance and subsequent withdrawal of a December 2010 administrative order in Parker County, Texas.
On May 1, 2012, the New York Times reported that EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz resigned over a video circulated of a speech of which Armendariz declared that the agency should hit oil and gas producers with the Roman practice of crucifying enemies as a deterrent.
On April 30, 2012, Inhofe released a statement on the resignation of EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz in the wake of the release of a video in which Armendariz is caught on tape admitting that EPA’s “general philosophy” to “crucify” and “make examples” out of oil and gas companies so that others are “really easy to manage.”
On April 26, 2012, Inhofe released a statement in response to then-EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz’s “general philosophy” to “crucify” and “make examples” out of oil and gas companies.
On April 25, 2012, Inhofe gave a speech on the Senate floor regarding President Obama’s war on domestic energy production in which EPA Region 6 administrator Al Armendariz said, “crucify them.”
On March 30, 2012, EPA withdrew its 15-month-old emergency order against Range Resources in Parker County, Texas. The Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates drilling activity in the state, found in March 2011 that Range Resources’ Parker County gas wells did not contaminate groundwater.
On Jan. 20, 2012, Inhofe led nine Senators in a letter sent to EPA administrator Lisa Jackson requesting EPA to consider its investigation on hydraulic fracturing and groundwater near Pavillion, Wyoming.
On Jan. 20, 2012, Inhofe released a statement in response to EPA administrator Lisa Jackson’s letter provided in response to Inhofe’s Dec. 6, 2011 letter asking Jackson to explain the agency’s contradictory statements regarding its study on hydraulic fracturing and groundwater in Pavillion, Wyoming. The letter expresses concern that EPA is coming to predetermined conclusions that lack transparency.
On May 24, 2011, Lisa Jackson, EPA administrator, testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government reform saying, “I’m not aware of any proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water…”