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Inhofe Welcomes Testimony from Oklahoman Darren Smith on Hydraulic Fracturing Before EPW Committee

Washington, D.C.- Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today welcomed Darren Smith, Environmental Manager at Devon Energy Corporation, before the EPW Committee to discuss EPA's new air rules for natural gas wells that are hydraulically fractured.  Mr. Smith is the second Oklahoman to testify before the EPW Committee on natural gas issues. Last year, Senator Inhofe was pleased to welcome Jeff Cloud, Vice Chairman of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, before the EPW Committee.

Inhofe Welcomes Darren Smith of Devon Before EPW Committee to Discuss Hydraulic Fracturing

"I was pleased to welcome Darren Smith, the Environmental Manager at Devon Energy, before the Environment and Public Works Committee today to testify on EPA's air rules for natural gas wells that are hydraulically fractured," Senator Inhofe said. "It's important for this committee to hear from the experts in the field - particularly one from Oklahoma - and Darren is certainly one of the best. While I rarely agree with the Obama administration, especially on hydraulic fracturing, I was pleased to hear EPA assistant administrator Gina McCarthy refer to Devon as 'a leader' that has gone 'above and beyond' in their commitment to addressing environmental needs.

"In his testimony today Darren specifically addressed EPA's flawed analysis behind its new air regulations on the oil and natural gas industries, rightly explaining that EPA's misperception of initial production from gas wells has 'led to a drastic overestimate of methane emissions from hydraulically fractured gas wells' and this has 'allowed EPA to justify the promulgation of new air standards for the natural gas industry.'  Of course, we've known that EPA has been using faulty data to over-exaggerate emissions - according to some estimates by 1,400 percent - in order to gain more and more control over hydraulic fracturing, in an effort eventually to end the development of our nation's vast supply of natural gas.

"Oklahoma has served the state and the nation well by creating jobs and providing affordable, domestic energy production. Oklahoma is a leader in natural gas development and I look forward to ensuring that Oklahomans have their say in Washington as more attention is given to these important issues."

Senator Inhofe has been looking into EPA's actions surrounding its New Source Performance Standards (NSPSs) and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs) for Oil and Gas Production and Natural Gas Transmission for some time. In April, just before EPA announced this rule, Senator Inhofe sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson expressing serious concern that the intention of the rule is to attack hydraulic fracturing, as the agency was moving forward on the foundation of faulty and inaccurate data, without regard for the economic impacts. 

  Opening Statement of Darren Smith of Devon Energy Before the Senate EPW Committee