To Frack or Not to Frack: The EPA Study on Fracking and Drinking Water


All I just wanted to know if fracking was good or not good! SOMEBODY TELL ME!!! [Starts Sobbing Loudly]





Our way of getting to Earth’s gooey-nougaty center.


Recently the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) weighed in on the matter on the consequences of fracking and its effect on the US’ water supply in a four year study. And the results…


Ok, I’m gonna stop right here, because I already know what the results are. I’ve seen the YouTube videos of fracking and what it does to the water in those areas.



I’m no expert in water systems or anything, but I’m fairly certain that it’s not supposed to catch on fire.


So how bad is it? How bad are the long term effects of fracking on the nation’s drinking water? Can I expect to see a Simpsons-esqe three-eyed fish in my lifetime? Let’s hear the bad news…


Fracking No Impact News


WHAT, really?!


No, that can’t be! THAT WATER WAS FLAMMABLE!!!


This is the media just taking one statement from a report and passing that off as the major headline. Yeah, I need to see a statement from the ACTUAL report:


“We did not find evidence that these mechanisms [fracking] have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States.”


Well that does it. Time to dust off that “Drill, Baby, Drill” shirt and I’ll meet you guys on the oil platform on the Gulf Coast! LET’S DRILL TILL WE MEET HIT THAT SWEET, SWEET MOLTEN LAVA CENTER!!


Drill Baby Drill Shirt

“Party on guys!”



Wait there’s more in this report. It’s probably not important, but for thoroughness we should look at it.


“Through this national-level assessment, we have identified potential mechanisms by which hydraulic fracturing could affect drinking water resources. Above ground mechanisms can affect surface and ground water resources and include water withdrawals at times or in locations of low water availability, spills of hydraulic fracturing fluid and chemicals or produced water, and inadequate treatment and discharge of hydraulic fracturing wastewater.”


AHA! I knew fracking affected the nation’s water supply.




Hold up, there’s more from the report.


“The number of identified cases where drinking water resources were impacted are small relative to the number of hydraulically fractured wells. This could reflect a rarity of effects on drinking water resources, or may be an underestimate as a result of several factors.” 


Soooo, there isn’t any connection?


“Of the potential mechanisms identified in this report, we found specific instances where one or more of these mechanisms led to impacts on drinking water resources, including contamination of drinking water wells.”


Confused? Well don’t be, because you have to remember; it’s a government study.


Government studies are a lot like teenage sexual experiences. They’re more about trying to figure out what’s exactly going on and less about getting anything actually done.


Awkward Teenager

“When does the sex happen?”



The current EPA study on fracking and drinking water is no exception. Even though reports have some proclaiming that this proves fracking to be safe, while others poking as many holes into the study as possible, it’s important to remember that the EPA is not trying to go one way or the other here. In fact once you read the EPA’s executive summary, you see that the conclusion is there just isn’t enough evidence to rule and more studies have to be done on the matter.


Then again this is America!


And in America…




(Photo Credits: Wikipedia, NBC News, CafePress, Fox Searchlight)


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