Lately I’ve seen a number of great posts on how the EPA is now turning their attention to a technique oil and natural gas companies use to gain access to vital energy resources called hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” A few years back North Dakota was a state that was struggling to keep young families here. The winters are tough and long and most of the jobs back then were lower paying agricultural related jobs. Then came the Bakken Oil field and everything changed. The Bakken oil field stretches from Canada down through North Dakota and it’s estimated that it could hold 3.6 billions barrels of recoverable oil. This makes the find the largest in U.S. History since the discovery of the oil fields in Alaska. To put this in perspective of just how large this find is, many geologist believe that the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska could hold up to 10 billion barrels of oil. So as you can see this is huge not only for North Dakota, but also for America. This field will play a vital role in helping the United States become energy independent and in meeting out future energy needs for decades to come.
North Dakota has now become an energy beacon for the nation and eyes are starting to turn our way. This includes the eyes of the EPA. and like a bloodhound they have locked in on the scent of our prosperity and now want to conduct a study on “fracking’ and the impact it may have on underground sources of drinking water (USDW). What is happening in Texas is now finding its way to North Dakota. The EPA wants this new study even though a 2004 EPA study on the injection of hydraulic fracturing fluids into coalbed methane production wells concluded that this drilling technique poses little or no threat to USDWs.
The follow results we noted in the EPA report:
• The agency concluded that the injection of hydraulic fracturing fluids poses little or no threat to USDWs.
• EPA found no confirmed cases linked to fracturing fluid injection or subsequent underground movement
of fracturing fluids.
• EPA found that no hazardous constituents were used in fracturing fluids, and hydraulic fracturing did
not result in creating a path for fluids to move between isolated formations.
• Reported incidents of water quality the degradation were attributed to other, more plausible causes.
• Although thousands of wells are fractured annually, EPA did not find a single incident of the contamination
of drinking water wells by hydraulic fracturing fluid injection.
Sounds pretty cut an dry to me. Hydraulic fracturing poses little or no threat to our underground sources of water supplies and yet on March 18th 2010 with the approval of a Democratically controlled congress, EPA launched a new study to determine what health effects, if any, fracking may cause.
Say Anything.Blog ran an excellent piece on this story a week ago. You can read the entire story here>>
It appears on the surface this new study is politically motivated and has very little to do with science. The fact is the EPA has shifted dramatically left towards environmental groups that seek to shut down the oil and coal industry in our nation. We have witnessed this with their actions in Texas and with their desire to regulate CO2 with a cap and trade policy. The EPA has become the federal hammer for many of the environmental groups that seek to implement a green agenda. So what can be done about this?
North Dakota state legislator Representative Jim Kasper has introduced a bill that would seek to protect the state from job killing EPA regulations by declaring that any EPA rule, or even any EPA inspection in the state, would need to be approved by state officials. HB 1287 introduced by Representative Kasper states;
Rules adopted by the environmental protection agency are null and void and of no force and effect in this state without the approval of the state agency with subject matter jurisdiction in the area governed by the rule. The environmental protection agency may not conduct visitations or inspections in this state without the prior approval and permission of the state agency with subject matter jurisdiction of the subject matter of the visitation or inspection.
This is a step in the right direction. Any state willing to stand up for its people and its industries is a state that gets it. More states need to follow North Dakota’s lead and start exercising their 10th amendment muscles again. This is about federalism and our constitution. Environmental issues should be managed by the states because the states are in a better position to address the needs and concerns of their citizens. It’s really that simple. The sooner we embrace this basic environmental philosophy, the better off we will be as a nation and people.
Jim over at Conservatives on Fire posted a great article titled “Has the EPA Become Just Another Environmental Activist Group?” I encourage you to check it out.
Liberty forever, freedom for all!