Sunday, November 04, 2012

Obama EPA set to derail fracking, kill 1.7 million jobs

To begin with, despite President Obama’s rhetoric about an “all of the above” energy plan, his Environmental Protection Agency has been systematically trying to undercut the development of unconventional energy – notably natural gas from shale. In what critics have rightfully assailed as a “shoot first, get the facts later” approach, the agency has worked to appease its environmentalist allies (and would-be contributors to the Obama campaign) by plotting to derail hydraulic fracturing, the process by which gas is extracted from rock formations deep in the Earth. For example, pushed by charges from national anti-drilling activists that fracturing was contaminating drinking water in Dimock, Pa., the EPA charged to the rescue – only to discover that no rescue was necessary. In July, the agency concluded the town’s drinking water was safe. In Parker County, Texas, EPA said that Range Resources’ natural gas operations – which included fracking – were responsible for contaminating local water supplies and ordered the company to fix its wells. In March, it was forced to withdraw the order after being unable to prove that Range was responsible for the presence of methane in water. And now, after running roughshod over state regulators in both cases and losing, the agency is undertaking a national study on fracking. Given EPA’s attitude toward drillers – one former regional administrator said the agency’s general philosophy was to “crucify” oil and gas companies – it doesn’t take a soothsayer to see where this path is likely to lead...more

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