Speaking of fake news, the political scientists at the EPA have rewritten the conclusion of a report in order to cast doubt on the safety of hydraulic fracturing. Consider this EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy’s parting gift to Donald Trump.
Last week the EPA issued the final version of a five-year study evaluating the impact of hydraulic fracturing, the oil and gas drilling method known as fracking, on groundwater contamination. The draft report released last year for public comment concluded that fracking has not “led to widespread, systemic impact on drinking water resources in the United States.” The EPA’s findings haven’t changed, but its conclusion has.
After being barraged by plaintiff attorneys and Hollywood celebrities, the EPA in its final report substituted its determination of no “widespread, systemic impact” with the hypothetical that fracking “can impact drinking water resources under some circumstances” and that “impacts can range in frequency and severity” depending on the circumstances.
Any technology has the potential to inflict some damage—self-driving cars can be hacked to go haywire—and the EPA explains that drinking-water contamination could occur if wastewater is incorrectly disposed or wells are poorly sealed. In Pavillion, Wyo., the EPA’s faulty construction of a monitoring well caused contamination.