Last night a Texas TV station broke the news that new independent analysis refutes the oft-repeated claim by the oil and gas industry that “there’s never been a confirmed case of fracking polluting drinking water”.
Using data from Texas regulators, WFAA, the ABC affiliate in Dallas reported that two independent scientists confirmed fracking in Parker County, Texas by the oil and gas company Range Resources polluted resident Steve Lipsky’s drinking water with dangerous levels of methane from the Barnett Shale.
This is familiar news to people living with fracking across the country. Beyond confirming that fracking does pollute drinking water, the independent reviewers also demonstrate that Texas regulators are more interested in protecting the oil and gas industry than the public.
“Texas regulators should be ashamed of themselves,” said Sharon Wilson, Earthworks Texas organizer. She continued: “Whether it’s the Railroad Commission and drinking water, or TCEQ and air pollution, these agencies have shown that Texas communities cannot rely on the state for protection against fracking and drilling companies that threaten their health.”
The Parker County case is not the first example of fracking polluting drinking water:
- The Canadian province of Alberta’s government has verified fracking pollution of drinking water
- The U.S. EPA stands by preliminary results indicating fracking polluted an aquifer near Pavillion, WY, before it handed its investigation over to the state of Wyoming and the company liable for the pollution.
- The U.S. EPA regional staff linked fracking to drinking water contamination in Dimock, PA, but were forced to prematurely stop the investigation.
“It’s time for the U.S. EPA to come clean about how fracking pollutes drinking water,” said Jennifer Krill, Earthworks Executive Director. “The EPA knew about this water pollution, as it did in Wyoming and Pennsylvania. But at the moment of truth, EPA withdrew in all cases rather than definitively declare that fracking pollutes drinking water.”
Wilson concluded: “It’s no wonder that communities across the country, from Texas to California, from Colorado to New York, are trying to ban fracking. We can’t trust our government to protect us. We certainly can’t trust the oil and gas industry. There is no other alternative.”