Fact-Check: Fracking Water Contamination in Texas

Last year, a number of complaints were filed to the Railroad Commission of Texas District 7B Office concerning the apparent increase in methane in the water wells in Parker County, Texas. The complaints claimed that the contamination was the result of the nearby activities of the Barnett Shale production and fracking.

A blog post this week on Ring of Fire’s website titled “Scientists: Fracking Linked to Groundwater Contamination” states in its opening paragraphs:

Last week a Texas TV station broke the news that new independent scientific analysis refutes the claim by the oil and gas industry that “there’s never been a confirmed case of fracking polluting drinking water.”

WFAA, the ABC affiliate in Dallas, reported that two independent scientists using data from Texas regulators confirmed fracking in Parker County, TX by Range Resources polluted resident Steve Lipsky’s drinking water with dangerous levels of methane from the Barnett Shale.

However, the “data” that Ecowatch and Earthworks is referring to states the complete opposite in the conclusion of the Railroad Commission of Texas Water Well Complaint Investigation Report:

Based on the information described above, Commission staff has determined that the evidence is insufficient to conclude that Barnett Shale production activities have caused or contributed to methane contamination in the aquifer beneath the neighborhood.

Earthworks, Ecowatch and others are really trying to stir up fear of the process of fracking. However, they lack the scientific evidence that they claim to have. It is just sad that they claim one thing, and a fact-check proves another.

Comments (1)

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  1. J Z says:

    Unfortunately it seems like it is relatively easy to do what I would essentially label as fear-mongering when it comes to activities like fracking that ‘sound’ to the average, perhaps uninformed citizen, like they could be potentially harmful.

    I suppose thankfully, at least, the main side-effect of fear-mongering is that when fact-checking disproves these claims, they lose credibility too.