(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), sent a letter to Arthur Elkins, Jr., Inspector General (OIG) of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) saying his office’s recent announcement to conduct research into states’ ability to regulate hydraulic fracturing is beyond their authority, outside their expertise, and is again seeking to further EPA’s goal of discrediting states’ long successful record of regulating hydraulic fracturing. The Senators have asked the EPA to back off.  

“The EPA has conducted a number of indisputably flawed and unscientific investigations attempting to link hydraulic fracturing to water contamination and has continued to come up empty handed,” wrote the Senators. “The OIG is reaching beyond its authority and considering a duplicative study which for the second time this year is attempting to further the false narrative that hydraulic fracturing is dangerous and states are somehow improperly managing some fabricated risks.”

This isn’t the first time these Senators have been critical of the EPA’s OIG on their dealing with hydraulic fracturing. On February 26, 2014, much of the same group sent a letter to Elkins with concerns about the quality and integrity of an OIG report, which investigated the EPA Region VI's issuance and withdrawal of an emergency order aimed at Range Resources, an oil and gas company operating in Parker County, Texas. Click here to read more on that.

EPW Republicans continue to investigate and raise serious concerns over recent OIG investigations that seem to undermine notions of independence that have otherwise been afforded the OIG.

Text of today’s letter is below. Click here to see the PDF.