House Republicans weigh in on EPA fracing study advisory board

US House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Republicans raised concerns about the US Environmental Protection Agency’s selection process for a scientific advisory board reviewing the EPA’s study of the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water prior to its release later this year.

Chairman Ralph M. Hall (Tex.) was joined by Andy Harris (Md.), who chairs the committee’s Energy and Environment Subcommittee, and committee member Dana Rohrabacher (Calif.) in asking EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson to make certain the new SAB’s members include nominees with hands-on or operational fracing experience.

A 2010 22-member panel reviewing the study’s draft excluded persons with industry experience, the three committee Republicans said in an Oct. 16 letter to Jackson. The earlier panel also suffered from meager state, local, and Indian tribal representation, they added.

“Given the importance of this study and the potential implications it could have for oil and gas production in the US, we urge EPA to ensure selection of a balanced panel with relevant technical expertise, and one that does not unnecessarily exclude nominees with relevant (and in fact essential) industry experience,” Hall, Harris, and Rohrabacher said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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