API: EPA hydraulic fracturing review confirms safety

A draft report by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirms that hydraulic fracturing has not led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources thanks to the safety and effectiveness of state and federal regulations, and current industry practices, said the American Petroleum Institute (API).

"After more than five years and millions of dollars, the evidence gathered by the EPA confirms what the agency has already acknowledged and what the oil and gas industry has known," said API Upstream Group Director Erik Milito. "Hydraulic fracturing is being done safely under the strong environmental stewardship of state regulators and industry best practices."

From 2009 to 2013, while the EPA was conducting this study, state agencies finalized an estimated 82 groundwater-related rules for oil and gas production, including hundreds of discrete rule changes, according to the Ground Water Protection Council.

"Continuous safety improvements have been an ongoing part of hydraulic fracturing for 65 years," Milito added. "That process will continue, with our support, under the oversight of state regulators who are most familiar with their own area's unique geology, hydrology, and other physical characteristics.

"Hydraulic fracturing has been used safely in over a million wells, resulting in America's rise as a global energy superpower, growth in energy investments, wages, and new jobs. Surging production of natural gas is a major reason US carbon emissions are near 20-year lows. Remaining questions cited by the EPA have all been addressed by a wide array of strong state regulations, industry standards, and federal laws."

Hydraulic fracturing supports more than 2 million US jobs, has increased supplies of oil and natural gas, and has helped to put downward pressure on energy prices. It also has strengthened America's energy security and geopolitical position.

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