A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official crowed about his agency's decision to issue an emergency order stopping a natural gas drilling operation in Texas to Big Green environmentalists before informing state officials of the action, according to emails and sworn statements obtained by Energy in Depth (EID).
The emergency order was issued despite objections from an EPA scientists that there was insufficient data available to justify it.
“[T]his is not conclusive evidence because of the limited data set,” said EPA scientist Dr. Doug Beak in an internal memo to agency colleagues.
“The only way now to compare the data would be to make assumptions to fill in data gaps and I don’t believe we have enough experience at this site or data to do this at this time,” Beak said.
With or without hard data to justify it, the emergency order drew expressions of delight from Sharon Wilson, director of the Texas Oil & Gas Accountability Project (OGAP), who responded with a "Yee Haw!" and “Hats off to the new Sheriff and his deputies!”
The new sheriff who told his environmental activist buddies about the emergency order before informing state officials was Region Six EPA Administrator Al Armendariz. The natural gas drilling operation was located in Parker County, in an area of North Texas in which drillers often use hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") to get at rich deposits of natural gas and oil.
Fracking is the injection of fluids - 99 percent of which is typically water, with the rest being assorted chemicals - into rock formations thousands of feet below the water table. The technique has been used for decades, but has become prominent in recent years as the key to opening up vast new energy deposits that were previously unproducable.
Big Green environmentalists have targeted fracking for elimination based on as-yet unproven claims that fracking endangers life by polluting drinking water. Despite claims made by the producers of an environmental propaganda video, "Gasland," there are no credible examples of such pollution.
The Armendariz emergency order is significant in and of itself, thanks to the lack of supporting data behind it, but the email incident is just the latest indicator of a growing scandal that illustrates how deeply intertwined are EPA officials and the Big Green environmental activist non-profits that heavily lobby government and the media on behalf of policies and programs that become fund raising tools for their organizations and jobs for their members.
Go here for more, including multiple documents, from EID.