WASHINTON – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today released a statement on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final report on the impacts from hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. This report is the conclusion of a 2009 request from Congress for the EPA to conduct a national study on the relationship between the specific act of hydraulic fracturing and drinking water.
“EPA’s study on hydraulic fracturing only reinforces what science continues to support – that fracking does not cause harm to our drinking water resources,” Inhofe said. “The agency’s efforts focusing on ‘data gaps’ are misplaced, EPA has spent nearly $30 million in taxpayer money over the course of five years evaluating the abundant scientific evidence leading up to this final study. While EPA sought to tinker with the topline finding of its draft report, the scant changes made to this final report were not based on any new data. This is a clear political move to appease disgruntled environmentalists with the “Keep it in the Ground Movement” as the Obama administration comes to an end.”
Senate EPW Republican oversight of the Obama administration’s attempts to link hydraulic fracturing to drinking water contamination:
On Nov. 10, Inhofe released a statement on the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality’s final report on domestic water wells in Pavillion, Wyoming, which affirmed hydraulic fracturing has not impacted water resources.
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 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 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…”