U.S. Interior Secretary Criticizes Fracking Bans, Citing ‘a Lot of Misinformation’

by Jillian Kay Melchior

Recent local and state fracking restrictions are “the wrong way to go,” says Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.

She spoke only weeks after New York imposed a fracking ban, a decision the state justified by citing a much-criticized state department of health report on the supposed negative public-health consequences, including “community impacts associated with boom-town economic effects.”

Though Jewell did not directly address New York’s fracking ban, she told KQED, a northern-California public TV and radio outlet, that “there is a lot of misinformation about fracking.”

[Jewell said:] “I think that localized efforts or statewide efforts in many cases don’t understand the science behind it and I think there needs to be more science.”

Jewell said she’s counting on government scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and other agencies to “really help us understand what is happening on the landscapes with hydraulic fracturing and also deep water injections, induced seismicity, those kinds of things.” . . .

“What we need is sound science that is driving our decision-making,” Jewell said, “and as a regulator that is exactly what we’re relying on as we are looking at releasing our own fracking regulations, which are out for public comment.”

But so far, credible science has not supported many of the alarmist claims about fracking. In fact, government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, have found no evidence that the energy-extraction process has contaminated groundwater. Meanwhile, many of the studies cited by fracking critics are biased, funded by green groups hell-bent on bending the science to fit a thesis.

— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for National Review as a Thomas L. Rhodes Fellow for the Franklin Center. She is also a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum.

 

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