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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Former EPA Employee and Current Anti-Drilling Activist Attempts to Discredit Agency's Fracking Study

Weston Wilson is an environmental engineer and anti-drilling activist who worked for the EPA until January 2010.  He has compared oil and gas extraction to slavery in the past.  Now, he has written an op-ed taking aim at the overarching conclusion of the EPA's extensive four-year study of fracking's effects on groundwater, declaring that there is "widespread and systemic contamination...at the EPA."

Here is a portion of what Wilson wrote:
In 2010, Congress told EPA to study these claims. In 2011, EPA responded, announcing it would do a widespread investigation of the entire industry including the systemic release of toxic gases during fracking. 
Under pressure from the industry, the EPA began severely limiting the scope of its investigation. 
In 2012, EPA withdrew from any investigation of the air pathways of toxic gas release during fracking, despite hundreds of citizens living near wells reporting air pollution and a robust set of scientists confirming ill health consequences. 
In 2013, EPA dropped its study of a marquee ground water contamination case in Dimock, Pennsylvania. 
In 2013, EPA dropped its study of ground water contamination in Pavilion, Wyoming and Weatherford, Texas. 
After retreating on measuring contamination in already fracked areas, EPA announced it would still conduct ‘prospective studies’ of new sites where baseline ground water data would be collected before fracking occurred. In 2014, EPA dropped all prospective studies. 
Having systematically turned its back on groundwater data gathering and analysis, including the groundwater data it had already collected in Pennsylvania, Wyoming, and Texas which confirmed water contamination, EPA shamelessly released a draft report this month with the deeply deceptive headline, “no widespread systemic ground water contamination found.”
Wilson goes on to conclude that the right thing to do is stop using fossil fuels for energy and immediately switch over to renewables, which he says can power the world right now.

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