Don’t Let Energy Companies Fund Studies About Their Own Pollution

Target: Larry Jackson, Environmental Protection Agency HQ

Goal: Don’t allow oil and gas corporations to conduct studies about themselves, their practices, and their facilities.

The Environmental Protection Agency has abandoned a recent study that found evidence of dangerous chemicals from a hydraulic fracture (frack) mine in the drinking water of a small Wyoming town. The chemicals are synthetic and can be traced to a nearby oil well owned by the Encana Corporation. Encana has fought tirelessly to deny the evidence. The nearly conclusive research will now be abandoned in favor of a new study performed by the state of Wyoming and funded by the Encana Corporation itself. This atrocity will allow Encana to tailor the new study’s results however they like. This is an unfortunate example of corporations using political and economic power to confound scientific evidence.

Encana has done a fine job weaseling itself into a position to fund a scientific study that will serve its own self-interests and throw out a legitimate, scientific study of the contaminated water, whose results identify Encana as the water contaminating culprit. Now Encana will be able to say that the contamination is the result of some other source, whatever they wish. No matter the forthcoming  results, it is sinisterly unlikely that Encana would fund a study that would undermine their profits and force them to shut down the well and clean up the town’s water.

Let’s tell the Environmental Protection Agency not to be the Environmental Destruction Agency, and continue what they’ve already started. It is no secret that the safety of hydraulic fracture mining is finicky at best and leads to dangerous contamination of ground and surface water. The environmental repercussions of frack mining, heavy chemical contamination of aquifers and clean water, is dangerous to anything—man, beast, or plant—that utilizes and consumes it. If we allow corporations to ruthlessly contaminate this town’s drinking water in favor of cheap fuel, what’s to stop them from contaminating the water in ours?

In the ongoing battle of oil companies trying to disprove science, that fracking doesn’t contaminate drinking water, we should push any evidence proves otherwise into the public eye. We certainly should not abandon factual proof of what is occurring. Let’s demand that the EPA not turn over this important study of water contamination effects of frack mining to the hands of Encana. We must continue to study the ill effects of frack mining until the full consequences are understood and the practice is outlawed.


Dear Larry Jackson,

I appreciate the work you and the EPA have done so far studying the contamination of drinking water in Pavilion, Wyoming, which evidenced dangerous levels of chemicals in the town’s drinking water as coming from a nearby hydraulic fracture mine. While many of us already know the dangers of hydraulic fracture mining, we need all the scientific evidence to expose the dangers it poses on environmental and human health. Furthering the study in Pavilion is important in the movement away from dangerous gas extraction methods that will further our environmental debts.

I am incredibly upset to find out you are abandoning the study and all the research from the Pavilion case in favor of a new study. The new study is to be conducted by the state of Wyoming and funded by the owner of the gas well, the Encana Corporation. This new study will surely be altered in heavy favor of Encana’s corporate interests, thus allowing Encana to continue to mine cheap oil at the expense of the town and the environment.

By ending this study you are telling us, U.S. citizens, that corporate interests are more important than human and environmental health. The risks posed by hydraulic fracture mining are enormous, while the benefits are short term. As part of the EPA you already know that fracking is dangerous. How can you abandon the study’s results for a new study that you know will not expose the truth? People will get sick as a result of the contaminated water; lives may even be lost. As a taxpaying citizen I demand that you continue the study and publish the results you have already found linking frack mining to water contamination. It is your job to protect the environment and to protect us from environmental health risks, so please do so.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Clariant International Ltd. via Flickr

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One Comment

  1. J Davidson says:

    A lot of bad science contaminates the health and welfare of the population.

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