Republicans tell Sebelius to exercise caution on fracking study by Robert Bowden, December 1, 2012, examiner
A group of key GOP Congressmen on the House Energy Committee told Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to use extreme caution in a study of the health effects of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” The Congressmen said that if the future study linked fracking with drinking water contamination it would kill jobs and hurt the economy. What they know that we don’t know? The lawmakers sent a letter to Sebelius Friday stating that such a study could stymie job growth if not “properly executed.” They expressed concern in the letter that naturally occurring substances in groundwater could be improperly labeled as contaminants. … The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering examining a potential link between hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and drinking water contamination. That agency is under the umbrella of the Department Ms Sebelius heads. What the lawmakers were saying is that the proposed study by the CDC in Atlanta will be “cooked” to make it look like fracking pollutes drinking water. … It is not just environmentalists and liberal Democrats who are concerned about the effects of fracking on water. Many local officials of both parties have expressed concerns about polluted drinking water and tap water that ignites in the sink. While the EPA study is likely to determine whether contaminated water comes from fracking operations, the CDC study, if undertaken, would assess the health risks associated with that contamination. Just because there are agents in the water, naturally occurring or not, does not mean they are harmful to humans in small amounts. However, they could be very harmful if the concentrations are high enough.
Many a pioneer died drinking alkali water in the desert that naturally occurring. On the other hand, man should not deliberately pollute drinking water with substances that we know are harmful. Those deaths are preventable. It seems like these Republicans must know something we don’t. They must believe that the study will determine that fracking is polluting our water and they want to kill it before the results are discovered. If not, why are they sounding an alarm before the study is conducted? Instead of coming down on the side of people who must drink contaminated water including children, these Congressmen are coming down on the side of the gas companies and their profits. I wonder if campaign contributions, lavish lunches and dinners, vacations and golf outings have anything to do with it. Let’s hope the CDC will find out for sure how safe the water is that we drink. [Emphasis added]
GOP lawmakers say fracking study could hurt job growth by Zack Colman, November 30, 2012, The Hill
A group of GOP House energy leaders advised Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to exercise caution in a possible study on the health impacts of natural-gas drilling. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering examining a potential link between hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and drinking water contamination. The lawmakers sent a letterto Sebelius Friday stating that such a study could stymie job growth if not properly executed. They expressed concern in the letter that naturally occurring substances in groundwater could be improperly labeled as contaminants. “Despite the significant growth of natural gas development, we are greatly concerned that the scientific objectivity of the Department of Health and Human Services is being subverted and countless jobs could be in jeopardy,” the lawmakers said. Signatories included House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (Mich.); Rep. Ed Whitfield (Ky.), the committee’s Energy and Power subcommittee chairman; Rep. Joe Pitts (Pa.), the committee’s Health subcommittee chairman; Rep. John Shimkus (Ill.), the committee’s Environment and the Economy subcommittee chairman; and past committee chairman Rep. Joe Barton (Texas). … But industry, along with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, says the practice is safe. They contend state regulators have ably handled fracking oversight, and that connections between fracking and groundwater contamination are faulty.