They came from Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming, armed with a petition of over 250,000 signatures. They held a press conference in front of the White House on Wednesday. They represent people who have been damaged in one way or another by the U.S. push for fracking, or hydraulic fracturing. The destructive mining process is going on in as many places as possible. The oil and gas industry has been aided by the Federal government to override the will of the people. The people do not want fracking. According to a Sept. 25 Environmental News Service article, the EPA has evidence of fracking-related water contamination in the affected states but has abandoned the investigations without explanation or recourse.
Actor Mark Ruffalo is on the advisory committee for Americans Against Fracking, which joined with another group called Stop The Frack Attack. He said,
“Today, I stand with affected community members from Dimock, Pennsylvania; Pavilion, Wyoming; and Parker County, Texas to call on President Obama and the EPA to re-open the investigations on the link between fracking and drinking water contamination. The American people expect and deserve a transparent EPA that makes science-based decisions, free from political interference.”
Other groups presented over 50,000 petitions last month. Residents of Dimock, Pennsylvania and Susquehanna County delivered those petitions to the EPA. The petitions asked the agency to reopen an earlier investigation that was closed under suspicious circumstances.
Also, one million public comments against fracking were delivered to the Obama Administration. The comments were part of the public comment period for a BLM plan to allow fracking on over 750 million acres of public lands. The lands include areas that are tribal, forest, wilderness and wildlife refuge areas.
The EPA is a problem agency. It took a bizarre investigatory and action course in Parker County. The EPA went so far as to issue an emergency order to two households because of methane invasion. The agency had evidence connecting the problem with a drilling operation, but suddenly rescinded the order without explanation.
In Dimrock County, the EPA never told the public that fracking possibly resulted in long-term and significant water quality damage. According to an August 13 EcoWatch article, the water in question supported 19 families in Dimock. In 2012, the EPA statements were strongly in favor of the contamination being related to fracking, but the Dimrock investigation was also closed without explanation.
In the Pavillion Wyoming case, the EPA did the same trick again, but this time, the U.S. Geologic Survey released its own 2012 data that supported EPA’s findings. In June, 2013, the EPA refused to produce a final report and handed the investigation over to Wyoming regulators. They were the reason why the federal government was called in the first place.
Since then, the media and the fracking industry have repeatedly told the public the EPA declared the water as safe or unrelated to fracking. This is not true. The EPA had findings of the opposite, yet cut off investigation and censored information releases without explanation or allowing further discussion.