Tags: Texas | EPA | gas | drilling

Texas: EPA's Cheating on Tests to Pull Plug on Gas Drilling

Wednesday, 23 Mar 2011 05:42 PM

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The Environmental Protection Agency still is trying to shut down a gas drilling operation near Fort Worth despite fresh doubts about the agency’s central allegation, that the drilling had tainted the local water supply, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Texas’ own regulators say new scientific tests on gas in the water well show the leakage is the result of natural causes: gas migrating upward from a rock formation that lies directly below the tainted aquifer.

Armed with these findings, Texas officials allege that the EPA is using dubious science to reach hasty conclusions that will harm the state’s economy.

“This is an example of overreaching at its worst,” said Texas regulator Michael Williams.

Texas and the EPA are already at odds over control of industrial plant emissions. The drilling dispute opens another front in a battle to decide whether the state or the federal government will have final say over how oil and gas in Texas are regulated.

Texas officials and Range Resources, the company drilling for natural gas near Fort Worth, have both asked the EPA to lift its shutdown order. But the EPA has refused, publicly questioning the validity of the Texas findings.

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