The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

EPA Launches Study on Hydraulic Fracturing

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted March 18, 2010

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that it will launch a study into the oil and natural gas production practice known as hydraulic fracturing. According to a press statement, EPA will focus on fracking's potential impact on water quality and public health.

In recent weeks, members of Congress and environmental groups have been calling for a study despite the fact that EPA released a similar study in 2004 that found no confirmed cases where fracking had contaminated drinking water.

Hydraulic fracturing has been used in an estimated one million wells.

In response to the new study's announcement, API issued the following statement:

"We expect the study to confirm what 60 years of experience and investigation have already demonstrated: that hydraulic fracturing is a safe and well understood technology for producing oil and natural gas. We hope the agency will provide ample opportunity for stakeholder comment and participation during the course of its study. Our members are experts on well construction and development and on safe and effective hydraulic fracturing operations.

While the technology has been used for more than a half century, its continued use is crucial. It is enabling access to massive new supplies of natural gas trapped in shale formations across the United States. These new finds have multiplied the nation's natural gas resources and will help generate electricity, heat homes and power vehicles for generations of Americans to come. Development of this natural gas also will mean thousands of new U.S. jobs and help the nation reduce its greenhouse gas emissions."

Read more information about hydraulic fracturing and listen to the podcast below.


Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.