The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has spent countless taxpayer dollars and man-hours over the last few years investigating the environmental threats posed by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in many regions across the United States. And when their draft reports showed that the practice was poisoning water supplies, the gas industry stepped in and immediately put a halt to the studies.
According to a new report by ProPublica, the EPA has halted several investigations into the safety of fracking operations in places like Texas, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming.
Most recently, the EPA halted a study on the environmental impact of fracking in Pavillion, Wyoming. The draft report of the study had been finished, but the gas industry intervened and questioned the validity of the study, so the EPA decided to back off and hand over the task of completing the study to the state of Wyoming. The state will finish the investigation, but the funding will come from the natural gas drilling company EnCana. Incidentally, EnCana is responsible for the pollution that the EPA was testing.
And it wasn’t that the EPA didn’t find anything that citizens should be concerned about; quite the opposite is true. In spite of halting the study, the agency still told residents that they should not drink the water coming out of their taps, nor should they use it to bathe because of the chemicals that were found in the tap water.