Matt Dempsey Matt_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-9797
Katie Brown Katie_Brown@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-2160
U-TURN: Obama Nominee Wodder Admits No Proven Case of Groundwater Contamination from Hydraulic Fracturing
In Written Response to Inhofe, Wodder Concedes, "I am not aware of any proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water..."
Washington, D.C.-Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today commented on a surprising admission from Rebecca Wodder, President Obama's nominee to be the Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks for the Department of the Interior, who in a written response to a question from Senator Inhofe said, "Like Administrator Jackson, I am not aware of any proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water..." This admission was revealed just a day after Ms. Wodder's testimony at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing in which she 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..."
"Even Rebecca Wodder, the former CEO of a radical environmental organization and an outspoken opponent of hydraulic fracturing, has now admitted before Congress that she is 'not aware of any proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water,'" Senator Inhofe said. "This is particularly noteworthy given Ms Wodder's refusal yesterday before the Senate Energy Committee to retract her previous statement that hydraulic fracturing 'has a nasty track record of creating a toxic chemical soup that pollutes groundwater and streams.'
"Of course, Ms. Wodder had to concede the point. Her statement comes on the heels of testimony from EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and other Obama administration officials who have said before Congress that there has not been a confirmed case of groundwater contamination due to the hydraulic fracturing process.
"Ms. Wodder has a clear record of outward hostility towards American energy development; because of this, she should not be confirmed as the next Assistant Secretary in the Department of Interior. I again request that President Obama withdraw her nomination. If he does not, it will be yet another example of this administration's war on affordable energy."
Full Text of Question and Answer
Senator Inhofe: Do you have reason to disagree with the statement of EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, who two months ago before a House Committee said, "I'm not aware of any proven case where the fracking process itself has affect water", yes or no? If yes, what is the reason to disagree with that statement?
Ms. Wodder: Like Administrator Jackson, I am not aware of any proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water, although there are investigations ongoing. My understanding is that the EPA is undertaking a comprehensive study of the possible impacts of hydraulic fracturing on water sources.