March 02, 2012

Portman Commends EPA Decision to Scrutinize Controversial Report on Fracking

Announcement comes on the heels of his call for a "highly influential scientific assessment" designation

Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) today said he welcomes the EPA’s decision to designate their recent draft report on hydraulic fracturing in Wyoming as a “highly influential scientific assessment,” which will require a more thorough and transparent peer review process. Last month, because of concerns raised about the report’s reliability and potential implications for state and federal regulations, he and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) sent a letter to Cass Sunstein, the White House’s regulatory czar, urging the Administration to ensure that EPA complies with legal standards of scientific integrity as it finalizes the new report. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which Sunstein leads, is responsible for policing the quality of agency science.

“I’m pleased the EPA has decided to give this study the level of scrutiny it merits,” said Portman. “A rushed and unreliable study could give rise to unnecessary regulations on one of the most promising new forms of job-creating energy development. Natural gas development is estimated to contribute hundreds of billions of dollars to the United States economy, and regulators should proceed with caution before doing anything that would slow responsible energy innovation.”

The Senators also noted in their letter that the EPA’s draft report is “novel” and “precedent-setting,” which could affect their long term study of hydraulic fracturing and noted an interest in the study among other agencies.