The House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and Procurement Reform examined the Obama Administration’s regulation of domestic energy production.
The hearing focused specifically on the oil and gas drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” which has seen a recent boom in Pennsylvania and other parts areas east of the Mississippi.
The Environmental Protection Agency has been conducting studies of the practice, trying to determine the impact of fracking on water supplies and possible links to localized earthquakes.
Cornell University director of the Agriculture, Energy and Environment Program Robert Howarth told the Committee that recent fracking innovations have not been subjected to very much scientific study and pose significant health risks.
Pennsylvania’s Environmental Protection Secretary Michael Krancer, on the other hand, said state regulators have been doing a good job of protecting the public from any dangers posed by fracking.
Additional witnesses included: Nancy Stoner, EPA acting assistant administrator for water; Mike Pool, Bureau of Land Management deputy director; Michael McKee, Uintah County, Utah commissioner; and Lori Wrotenbery, Oklahoma Corporation Commission director of the Oil and Gas Conservation Division.
The hearing was chaired by Rep. James Lankford (R-OK).