Remediate Damage Caused by Alleged Fracking Cover-Up

fracking by Simon Fraser University

Target: Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

Goal: Institute a zero-emission goal for methane.

A complaint filed with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Inspector General alleges that an EPA researcher, paid-off by the oil industry, engaged in a “persistent and deliberate cover-up that has prevented the agency from requiring the natural gas industry” to reduce the methane emissions associated with fracking. Environmental advocates believe that the alleged cover-up at the EPA has seriously hampered efforts to reduce climate change and jeopardized the stability of our environment.

Apparently, the cover-up centers around the monitoring hardware used by the EPA to track emissions. Common Dreams reports that the inventor of the instrument, known as the Bacharach Hi-Flow Sampler, has been trying to call attention to these hardware problems for years. Environmentalists wrote in their complaint to the EPA that the monitoring device under represents methane emissions “up to 100-fold,” which not only compromises the emissions data used by the EPA to regulate the oil and gas industry, it puts drilling operations at risk of catastrophic explosions.

Although more subtle than the potentially explosive consequences of these hardware errors and the ensuing cover-up, the long term climate consequences could be even more devastating. Environmentalists believe that immediate remediation is required. The whistle blowers in this case call for the immediate institution of a zero-emission goal for methane. They believe that the only solution to the problem posed by methane leaks is to adopt a complete ban on fracking.

Sign on below to add your voice to this call for reform. Tell the EPA to address the harm caused by past oversight by setting a zero-emission goal for methane.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Administrator McCarthy,

A recent complaint to the EPA’s Inspector General alleges a vast and disturbing cover-up that jeopardizes the health and safety of our nation and our world. According to the complaint, EPA regulator David Allen headed an effort to conceal the underreporting of methane leaks, thereby protecting the oil and gas industry from regulation. The report further alleges that the regulator acted at the behest of petrochemical interests in response to the funding they provided for his research.

The cover-up reportedly centered around a monitoring device known as the Bacharach Hi-Flow Sampler. Despite warnings from the instrument’s inventor that his device under reports methane emissions “up to 100-fold,” David Allen apparently dismissed those concerns in his studies for the EPA. Environmentalists believe that decision placed mining operations at risk of explosions and has severely stalled our efforts to limit climate change.

That damage has been done. Now is the time for rapid action to prevent further harm. Adopt the recommendations of whistle blowers and institute a zero-emission goal for methane.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Simon Fraser University

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