Rick Perry Wants To Frack Iowa
At a campaign stop in Iowa, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) claimed that the Obama administration is “trying to scare people” about natural gas fracking. He argued that natural gas drilling with hydraulic fracturing has never damaged groundwater, and expressed concern that Iowans would miss out on the natural gas boom:
Under President Obama, natural gas drilling has enjoyed a renaissance, so much so that overproduction has led to a collapse in natural gas prices. The heads of the Department of Energy, Department of the Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency have all praised the “important energy resource” of natural gas and have expressed confidence that fracking can be done safely.
Criticism of the explosion in fracking has primarily come from concerned citizens, who have seen their water catch on fire, their land seized by drillers, their rivers contaminated by spills, and found wells gone dry or poisoned. Most of the damage is caused by other steps in the drilling process than the deep, high-pressure injection of a secret mixture of toxic fluids that is fracking, but the EPA documented contamination of groundwater by fracking in 1987, when Ronald Reagan was president.
The Obama administration is considering whether to enforce clean air laws at drilling sites, which have blanketed Wyoming with poisonous haze. An industry-friendly panel for the Department of Energy recommended that frackers stop using diesel fuel and that they disclose the ingredients in fracking fluid. Perry might not be aware of the dangers of unregulated fracking, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t real.