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Hydraulic fracturing study welcomed

BY JAY F. MARKS Published: March 19, 2010

Industry officials said there has been no documented case of groundwater contamination caused by hydraulic fracturing.

The process has been used on more than 1 million wells since its first success near Duncan in 1949.

"Hydraulic fracturing is one of the U.S. oil and gas industry’s crowning achievements, enabling us to produce energy supplies at enormous depths with surgical precision and unrivaled environmental safety records,” said Lee Fuller, executive director of advocacy group Energy in Depth. "And, simply put, new innovations are making these technologies better and better by the day.”

"We are confident that a scientific and data-driven examination will provide policymakers and the public with even greater reassurance of the safety of this practice,” said Regina Hopper, president of America’s Natural Gas Alliance.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, ranking member of the Senate’s Environment and Public Works committee, said he intends to work with the EPA to ensure its latest study is based on the best science available.

Watch a video explaining the hydraulic fracturing process...

Group seeks delay in EPA oversight
An oil and gas industry group has proposed tabling legislation that would give the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency the authority to regulate fracturing until the EPA completes its study. Lee Fuller, executive director of Energy in Depth, said further regulation of hydraulic fracturing could hamper domestic energy production and job growth. Calling such legislation a "bureaucratic nightmare,” U.S. Rep. John Sullivan, R-Tulsa, said, "Keeping the hydraulic fracturing exemption intact from onerous EPA regulation is critical to increasing the supply of American energy.” He also said the EPA concluded in 2004 that hydraulic fracturing poses no threat to groundwater. However, environmental groups insist that study has been discredited.


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