On The Wonderful Inability To Prove A Negative

A while back the EPA produced a draft report that said that fracking a well doesn’t pollute ground water.  So the final report has come  out and surprise, the wording has been changed to say that fracking could harm water supplies even in the absence of data.  Here’s how the Wall St. Journal wrote about the report.

WASHINGTON—Fracking can affect drinking water supplies in certain circumstances, the Obama administration said in a long-awaited report issued Tuesday, leaving open the possibility of more widespread impacts that it says can’t be determined with current data.

The report, written by Environmental Protection Agency scientists, includes findings that are more open-ended than those in a draft version last year, when the agency said fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, isn’t having “widespread, systematic impacts on drinking water.”

The final report doesn’t include that phrase because EPA scientists determined they couldn’t back it up without comprehensive data on hydraulic fracturing across the U.S. and because it didn’t “really communicate the findings in the report,” said Thomas Burke, deputy assistant administrator at EPA on a conference call with reporters Tuesday.


The problem with this is the distinct line between can happen and does happen.  Anything can happen.  That doesn’t mean it will.  The EPA admits that the data doesn’t support any great crisis in fracking damaging water supplies and that any contamination is local and very small.  I would add that since the majority of fracking compounds are water, sand and soap, all of which are released into the environment in great amounts, that trying to blame fracking for soapy water may be difficult.

Here’s a video about fracking a well.

The EPA is trying, with this report to do two things.  First is to create fear, uncertainty and doubt(FUD) about the safety of drilling processes.  This in the absence of any data that fracking is in any way unsafe.  Second is to place the burden of proof on the drilling industry and force them to attempt to prove a negative.  Which is impossible. Still the EPA has done this before.

Frankly the burden of proof should be on the EPA and the rest trying to show that fracking is dangerous.  There have been over a million wells drilled and fracked and the provable environmental damage has been basically local and caused by bad practices.  Not the earthshaking risk that the Greens and the EPA would have you believe.

Frankly when it comes to facts, it doesn’t really matter as far the EPA is concerned anymore.  The people in charge at the EPA have an agenda. It’s the same one that they have always had.  That is to deindustrialize the US and return it to a romanticized state that never existed.  The fact that this would return the US to the state before Columbus landed, or worse is seen as an plus as far as the people at the EPA are concerned.

This report is just another example of the EPA operating outside the boundaries of actual scientific evidence or the rule of law.  A habit that has become all too common in the current Administration.  The fact is that the Administration does not like fossils fuel and hasn’t tried to hid that fact.  The Administration has continued to fight fracking throughout the last eight years and this is likely it’s last attempt to shut the recovery of the American oil industry that has been the one bright spot in the economy for the last eight years.  It’s also a clear demonstration of just how much the swamp needs to be drained before the country commits suicide.

One comment

  1. penneyvanderbilt · December 14, 2016

    Reblogged this on KCJones.


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