Has everyone recovered from the surprise and shock that fracking is bad for water? I suppose it’s good that the EPA finally managed to spit this one out, now that it will most likely be dismantled.
The Environmental Protection Agency has concluded that hydraulic fracturing (fracking) can affect drinking water.
In light of the facts that tap water near some fracking wells has become flammable, that two families in Pennsylvania last year won a court case over the impacts of fracking on their water, and that scientists have found arsenic in water sources near fracking, the EPA’s announcement Tuesday should not come as a surprise.
But it does, since just 18 months ago, a draft version of the EPA’s fracking report said that the EPA “did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States.”
It’s not clear that the science will continue to be investigated, at least in the near term. President-elect Donald Trump has suggested dismantling the EPA, and his nominee to head the agency has come out strongly in favor of oil and gas development.
Trump is in the process of assembling what will be the most anti-environment, pro-fossil fuel cabinet in modern history. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who has fought EPA regulations for years, has been tapped to run the EPA.
It’s worth noting that water quality is not the only thing at risk from fracking. Fracking has been linked to numerous air quality concerns, including in areas where fracking wells are located close to schools. Fracking has been tied to asthma, migraines, and other health impacts.
And let’s not forget that fracking causes earthquakes. We really don’t need to cause earthquakes, they are bad enough when they happen naturally. The government that is poised to take power seems to want to hasten the death of our earth, and all of us on it.