In a decision is that is “a vindication of the science-based processes at the Railroad Commission,” according to Barry Smitherman, chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission, a federal judge has ordered the EPA to actually investigate wells in Texas before declaring fracking the culprit and penalizing the company they think is involved.
The case of U.S. v. Range Production Co., 11:-cv-00116, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Dallas) was withdrawn by the EPA because the government wants to “shift the agency’s focus in this particular case away from litigation” and instead test water wells in the area.
Why didn't they do that before? Because environmental groups insist fracking is causing flaming water and the EPA has gotten into a bad habit of ignoring scientists, including its own, to promote an agenda that circumvents the legislature. Parker County, Texas residents say there is natural gas in their walls and the EPA ordered Range to fix them, even though the company said it had nothing to do with it. Why Range? They use hydraulic fracturing in Texas’s Barnett Shale, so they must be the problem.
But when a judge requested evidence the EPA was stumped.
For its part, Range will sample 20 private water wells in the area each three months for a year and turn over the results to the federal government. Now these people can get clean water and the real culprit, including if it is Range, can be found. It just can't be done if the EPA thinks judges are in their pocket.
EPA Agrees to Dismiss Well Contamination Case Against Range By Mike Lee, Business Week, on March 30, 2012
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