That is now the conclusion of the EPA.
The Wall Street Journal reports Fracking Has Had No ‘Widespread’ Impact on Drinking Water, EPA Finds. A senior official from the office of research and development said:
“Hydraulic fracturing activities in the U.S. are carried out in a way that have not led to widespread, systematic impact on drinking water resources … In fact, the number of documented impacts to drinking water is relatively low when compared to the number of fractured wells.”
The risk is in proper construction of the wellbore as it passes through the water table. I’ve previously learned there is an outer casing liner which is sealed in concrete. Then the well bore is placed inside the casing. It is sealed with another round of concrete-like material, which prevents water from moving, should it get through the other concrete and steel in the bore.
That near-surface drilling risk is completely separate from hydraulic fracturing operations. That risk is present for conventional oil and even geothermal energy. That risk has been present for 100 years.
It is generally believed the EPA was looking for a reason to restrict shale oil and shale gas. If a four-year study, presumably trying to do so, could not find any systemic risk or actual widespread danger, I think we can all agree it is now a settled conclusion that fracking is safe.
The Wall Street Journal editorial staff agree. They are impressed by The EPA Fracking Miracle.
They point out the already well-known agenda of the EPA
… The agency has yearned for an excuse to take over fracking regulation from the states, which do the job well. So if there was so much as a sliver of evidence that fracking was dangerous, the EPA would have found it. …
From their report, we can assume the EPA didn’t find any evidence of danger.
This shows the bans on fracking in New York, Maryland, Vermont, and California were fear-based when imposed and are now unjustified and unwarranted.
- Politico – EPA: Fracking’s no big threat to water
- NPR – EPA Finds No Widespread Drinking Water Pollution From Fracking – An official from the American Petroleum Institute says the report agrees with what the oil industry has been saying for a long time.
- Mother Jones – EPA: Fracking Doesn’t Pose “Widespread, Systemic” Danger to Drinking Water
The science is settled
Let me see if I can formulate the inflammatory rhetoric correctly. I try to avoid polemics, so this doesn’t come natural. Maybe I can figure it out:
Fracking is safe. After an exhaustive study, the EPA said so. You don’t want to deny science do you?
Well, after reading a few on-line articles, I guess some people want to do so.
Consider the mere headline of this report: Long-Awaited EPA Study Says Fracking Pollutes Drinking Water.
Text of article points to the conceptual possibility of water contamination. Article does acknowledge that there have only been isolated cases of water contamination.
However by the end of the heavy-handed article, activists are quoted as saying there are “hundreds of peer-reviewed studies” that prove fracking should be banned completely and there are hundreds of proved contamination incidents which support a blanket statement that fracking is poisoning our drinking water.
The headline writer and author apparently didn’t read the same report everyone else did. Or perhaps they wish to deny the now-settled science.