EPA Being Investigated For Handling of Range Resources Case

The Associated Press recently ran with a story about Range Resources muscling the EPA into dropping their investigation of contaminated water in Texas after the agency initially had been quick to issue an emergency order against the energy company, concluding that they were responsible for the contamination.  The AP article, though, did not tell the whole story.  In fact, a new report of an investigation of the EPA shows that AP's reporting of the story was very one-sided.

From the Washington Free Beacon:
[EPA Region 6 administrator Al] Armendariz issued an emergency order against Range on Dec. 7, 2010, claiming the company had contaminated two natural gas wells with methane released from drilling activities in the Strawn shale formation near Fort Worth, Texas.
However, internal EPA emails show that even the agency’s own experts doubted the science behind the enforcement actions.
Doug Beak, an environmental chemist at the EPA’s Ground Water and Ecosystems Restoration Research division, told another EPA official nine days before the enforcement actions were made public that the “limited data set” used in EPA’s groundwater tests meant that evidence of water contamination due to Range activities was “not conclusive.”
“The only way now to compare” methane in surrounding drinking water before and after Range’s drilling activities (the crucial data point), Beak said, “would be to make assumptions to fill in data gaps and I don’t believe we have enough experience at this site or data to do this at this time.”
John Blevins, Region 6’s enforcement director, said in a court-ordered deposition that EPA was aware that groundwater in the area contained methane prior to Range drilling activities there but chose not to include that information in the official record of administrative proceedings.
These facts, coupled with Armendariz's prior comments about his desire to "crucify" some oil and gas companies and the fact that he emailed at least one anti-drilling activist in Texas to say they should "Tivo channel 8" when the news of the emergency order was about to be reported, paint a far different picture than the AP story - which makes no reference whatsoever to any of these things - does of the whole situation.  It should also be noted that Armendariz has since left the EPA to join the Sierra Club, which changed from being pro-natural gas to being opposed to natural gas sometime last year when natural gas prices dropped.

One of the marquee contamination cases that fracktivists like to refer to has a lot of holes in it.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Popular posts from this blog

Fracktivist in Dimock Releases Carefully Edited Video, Refuses to Release the Rest

The Second Largest Oil and Gas Merger - Cabot and Cimarex

Is a Strong Oil Demand Expected This Year?