Two sources within the Environmental Protection Agency have told government watchdog groups that the Obama administration interfered with investigations of hydraulic fracturing during the 2012 presidential campaign.
The American Traditional Institute (ATI) and the Free Market Environmental Law Clinic (FMELC) filed two Freedom of Information Act requests after receiving tips from two separate career EPA employees who charged that politics drove the EPA’s handling of a fracking study in Pennsylvania.
“These two EPA employees appear credible; one we have established is quite reliable and the other was referred to us by a highly-regarded and well-known academic scientist,” said Chris Horner, ATI senior fellow and FMELC attorney, who filed the FOIA requests.
One source was close to a field team working near Dimock, Pennsylvania, and alleged that the administration got involved in the fracking studies as President Barack Obama started to tout natural gas drilling as an economic bright spot during the 2012 campaign.
Dimock became the center of controversy after some residents said that nearby drilling operations had contaminated their drinking water. Yet the EPA stated last summer that “there are not levels of contaminants present that would require additional action by the agency.”
The Los Angeles Times obtained an internal EPA PowerPoint presentation that showed that officials at the agency’s mid-Atlantic office urged further investigation into Dimock even as the EPA was saying the town’s drinking water was safe.
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