Whatever your views on hydraulic fracturing, aka "fracking," I think most of us can agree that getting accurate scientific data on the potential impacts of the practice is important. If fracking is safe, we need to know that. If fracking is only safe with careful regulation, we need to know that too. And if fracking poses a threat to our water supplies, we certainly need to know that! That's why stories like this one are so infuriating.
The Associated Press has a breaking investigative story out today revealing that the Obama Administration's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) censored a smoking gun scientific report in March 2012 that it had contracted out to a scientist who conducted field data on 32 water samples in Weatherford, TX.
That report, according to the AP, would have explicitly linked methane migration to hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") in Weatherford, a city with 25,000+ citizens located in the heart of the Barnett Shale geologic formation 30 minutes from Dallas.
In sum, actual scientific evidence found that fracking poses a significant risk to groundwater in at least one location, but instead of taking action, "everything was soon shut down, with the Obama EPA reversing its emergency order, terminating the court battle and censoring Thyne's report." As Americans Against Fracking put it in a statement, "It is again abundantly clear that the deep pocketed oil and gas industry will stop at nothing to protect its own interests, even when mounting scientific evidence shows that drilling and fracking pose a direct threat to vital drinking water supplies." It's hard to argue with that conclusion.