Covering up

So I guess we should add gas drillers to that list of companies that now perch on the upper level of our two-tiered justice system? If the situation went down the way the AP describes it, this is truly disgusting. The EPA is supposed to protect our natural resources, not cover up for the polluters:

WEATHERFORD, Texas (AP) — When a man in a Fort Worth suburb reported his family’s drinking water had begun bubbling like champagne, the federal government sounded an alarm: An oil company may have tainted their wells while drilling for natural gas.

At first, the Environmental Protection Agency believed the situation was so serious that it issued a rare emergency order in late 2010 that said at least two homeowners were in immediate danger from a well saturated with flammable methane. More than a year later, the agency rescinded its mandate and refused to explain why.

Now a confidential report obtained by The Associated Press and interviews with company representatives show that the EPA had scientific evidence against the driller, Range Resources, but changed course after the company threatened not to cooperate with a national study into a common form of drilling called hydraulic fracturing.

Regulators set aside an analysis that concluded the drilling could have been to blame for the contamination.

For Steve Lipsky, the EPA decision seemed to ignore the dangers to his family. His water supply contains so much methane that the gas in water flowing from a pipe connected to the well can be ignited.

“I just can’t believe that an agency that knows the truth about something like that, or has evidence like this, wouldn’t use it,” said Lipsky, who fears he will have to abandon his dream home in an upscale neighborhood of Weatherford.

The case isn’t the first in which the EPA initially linked a hydraulic fracturing operation to water contamination and then softened its position after the industry protested.

A similar dispute unfolded in west-central Wyoming in late 2011, when the EPA released an initial report that showed hydraulic fracturing could have contaminated groundwater. After industry and GOP leaders went on the attack, the agency said it had decided to do more testing. It has yet to announce a final conclusion.

Desmogblog has additional information that confirms the likelihood that the testing conclusions were accurate.

3 Responses to Covering up

  1. imhotep January 18, 2013 at 11:21 am #

    “After industry and GOP leadres went on the attack”……our Congress at work. The EPA is funded by Congress. Piss off the Republicans in the House, and in the Senate by attacking their campaign donors, the oil, gas, and coal industry, and the EPA will be no more. After all “corporations are people too.” If you actually believe that we’re living in a representative democracy than your batshit crazy.

  2. russ January 18, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    In a way, we are being very consistent. Inspections to be done by agents of the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agency? The PTB don’t really want them done – so the Agency is frozen at agent levels from 40 years ago, with no true Director just to make sure enforcement related to inspections does not get done.

    Really inspect, document, and address the damage done in “fracking” for oil and gas? Actually reveal something unpleasant about the fossil fuels industry? Actually give priority to protecting the health of the public? Please.

    And how about those marvelous people in the finance industry, who are laundering drug money like HSBC? Enforcement? Prosecution for what was obvious criminal activity?

    Whom are we kidding?

    We constantly give “Get Out of Jail Free” cards to major criminals, and crack down ferociously on anyone who says ‘maybe this system of the 1% getting all the benefits and the 99% getting all the costs isn’t all it’s cracked up to be’.

  3. lless January 18, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

    Democrats don’t tamper with science, only Republicans do that! Remember the Minerals Management Service? Well Imho, if Obama calls the head of the EPA in and keel hauls him this doesn’t happen. Its an executive office. So from the standpoint of these poor homeowners, it makes not a nickle’s worth of difference whether its Governor Corbett or President Obama, they get sold out.

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