Monday, September 20, 2010

Controversial Candidates on 'Short List' for EPA Fracking Panel

The New York Times
By MIKE SORAGHAN of Greenwire

"U.S. EPA is considering two former Halliburton Co. executives along with one of the most outspoken critics of hydraulic fracturing to provide independent expert advice on its study of the polarizing drilling practice.

The EPA Science Advisory Board's "short list (pdf)" of 82 people to serve on a review panel could reignite a debate that dogged a previous fracturing study, in which a Halliburton employee served on a peer review panel that was criticized for being overloaded with people from the petroleum industry.

The new study has run into controversy even before it starts, as the gas industry and its critics jockey to influence the planning and "scope" of the study. Gas drillers have complained that EPA is planning to look too broadly, including at parts of the drilling process that do not directly involve fracturing. Hundreds of people, mostly opponents, have shown up to testify at normally docile "scoping" hearings (Greenwire, Sept. 14).

The results of the final study won't be released until 2012. The new study was sought last year by congressional Democrats who worry that the high-pressure underground injections of chemical-laced water could be contaminating drinking water." More>>>>

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