The American Petroleum Institute pushed back against the Environmental Protection Agency and its regulations targeting hydraulic fracturing on Wednesday, saying government reports have already proven fracking to be environmentally safe.
The EPA began implementing hydraulic fracturing regulations in order to establish public health and environmental safeguards. Concerns associated with fracking include the possible contamination of drinking and surface waters and air pollution.
API Director of Upstream and Industry Operations Erik Milito pointed to two separate reports: a 1999 Energy Department report finding advanced oil and gas production technology, including hydraulic fracturing, provides environmental benefits such as lower waste volumes and fewer wells drilled; and a 2015 EPA report which concluded fracking could potentially impact drinking water resources, but “did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States.”
“The evidence gathered for EPA’s study confirmed what previous agency administrator Lisa Jackson, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, and many others had already acknowledged and what the oil and gas industry has known: Hydraulic fracturing is being done safely under the strong environmental stewardship of state regulators and industry best practices,” Milito told reporters. “Yet, since releasing the report, the EPA continues to face a barrage of politically based attacks attempting to tamper with scientific conclusions.”
Milito said the EPA’s conclusion that there is no evidence of widespread contamination as a result of fracking still stands.
“There are reasons no such evidence exists: namely the application of proven engineering technologies and industry risk management practices, coupled with existing and ever-evolving state and federal regulations,” he said. “EPA’s assessment underscores the safety of advanced hydraulic fracturing and modern horizontal drilling. The study is scientifically sound.”