Tags: Upton | fracking | oil | jobs

GOP Reps: Fracking Study Puts Oil Jobs in Peril

Saturday, 01 Dec 2012 08:27 AM

By Stephen Feller

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Several Republican members of the House expressed concerned in a letter Friday that a federal study into the environmental effects of fracking could put oil and gas industry jobs in jeopardy.

Members of energy and health committees sent the letter to Health and Human Sservices Director Kathleen Sebelius saying that if the study is not conducted fairly it could negatively impact the key industry.

The Centers for Disease Control may begin a study into reports that fracking — a method of extracting gas by pumping a high-pressure solution of water, sand and chemicals into underground rock formations to free up stores of shale gas — could pollute drinking water.

“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,” lawmakers said in the letter.

Five Republicans congressmen signed the letter. They are House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton of Michigan; three subcommittee chairmen,  Ed Whitfield, of Kentucky, Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania, and John Shimkus of Illinois; and past committee chairman Joe Barton of Texas.

If the studies identify naturally occurring chemicals in water as contaminants, new restrictions have the potential to put the brakes on a booming industry.

“We urge you to consult to state regulatory and public health officials who have much deeper experience monitoring the effects of hydraulic fracking than most federal officials have,” the congressmen wrote.

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