The oil and gas drilling industry found itself in the hot seat on Congress this week, subject to inquiries into an extraction process called hydraulic fracturing, or (and we love to say this) “fracking.”
A few years back the Bush administration created exemptions for drillers from environmental laws, freeing them to inject chemical-laced liquids into underground rock to maximize their yield of natural gas. Not long after, neighbors who used well water began to notice odd occurrences: water under extreme pressure jetting out of toilets, strong fumes coming out of showers, livestock refusing to drink the water, exploding houses.
That is correct.
Reports our friends at ProPublica: “The House Energy and Minerals subcommittee called the hearing to explore the economic and environmental risks associated with the practice, called hydraulic fracturing , after a string of reports of water contamination related to drilling across the country were reported by ProPublica . Hydraulic fracturing is currently exempted from the Safe Drinking Water Act, but both the House and Senate are drawing up legislation that would close the Bush-era loophole and reinstate the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority over the fracturing process.”
Hardly contrite, these folks apparently were quite vigorous in the defense of the technique. Reminds me of Lt. Col. Oliver North some 20 years ago declaring “Thank God!” that we sold missiles to Iran to fund rebels in South America. (Yes, the same Iran, sworn mortal enemy now seeking to develop nuclear weapons) But I digress.