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Posted Sat Mar 5 2011: from DemocracyNow:
Leaked EPA Documents Expose Decades-Old Effort to Hide Dangers of Natural Gas Extraction
Efforts by lawmakers and regulators to force the federal government to better police the natural gas drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," have been thwarted for the past 25 years, according to an expose in the New York Times. Studies by scientists at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on fracking have been repeatedly narrowed in scope by superiors, and important findings have been removed under pressure from the industry. The news comes as the EPA is conducting a broad study of the risks of natural gas drilling with preliminary results scheduled to be delivered next year. Joining us is Walter Hang, president of Toxics Targeting, a firm that tracks environmental spills and releases across the country, based in Ithaca, New York, where fracking is currently taking place.... And if we want to make this an honest process, if we want to make sure that this extraction mining is properly regulated, there's no better time than right now. We've never seen these documents before. I've been doing this work for 34 years. All of those internal communications, as you know, are excluded from Freedom of Information, so this is really a cornucopia of documents revealing how the EPA thinks. And that's how come, for the first time, we know what they wanted to do, to their credit, to protect the environment. And in fact, there's even one document that said that the authorities didn't want EPA to write down what their best hopes were, because if it ever came to light, the public could hold their feet to the fire to implement it. So this is a tremendous opportunity to regulate an industry that's really never been regulated before.
[Read more stories about: fracking, oil issues]
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'Doc Michael says:
Why would we want to regulate things as if our lives depended on it?

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