Invoking the spirit of Emily Litella, the Environmental Protection Agency offered a govenmental “never mind” when it withdrew its emergency order that attempted to hold Range Resources responsible for contamination of drinking water on Parker County, Texas, well sites under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.
Those who have followed this case know that several investigations into the EPA’s assertions showed no link between Range’s operations and water contamination. For example, a Texas Railroad Commission investigation more than a year ago concluded that Range did not contaminate the water wells.
This retreat should have happened a long time (say, about $4.2 million in Range legal fees) ago, but be assured this action is no indication that the EPA intends to abandon its efforts to regulate fracking. Nor, one could suspect, does it signal the end of the EPA’s resolve to challenge oil and gas production. So much for “science-based regulation”.
For contrasting viewpoints on the subject, see the Wall Street Journal article, and especially the 127 (at last count) comments, and a Texas blogger with a decidedly different – one could say hysterical – sentiments about this case and fracking in general.