Meet the new boss: EPA head Lisa Jackson
The new head of the EPA has said the Obama administration may shift policy on hydraulic fracturing. Fracking is a process whereby millions of gallons of water are injected into the ground, along with sand and other chemicals, in order to extract natural gas. Pro Publica has been on this story from the start, and puts together another great piece. It's informative, brief, and has links to a lot of helpful information.
A 2004 study conducted by the EPA concluded that hydraulic fracturing causes "no threat" to underground drinking water.
The study is often used by the gas industry to rebut concerns over drinking water contamination. It was also the main basis for a provision in a 2005 energy bill that exempts hydraulic fracturing from regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The bill says the process is exempt because it doesn't harm groundwater. Opponents of the exemption are trying to repeal it, and a new study from the EPA would add muscle to their argument.
Hopefully, the times are a changin'.