Exxon, parrying attacks, launches natural-gas website

“Water supplies are protected by proper well design and rigorous processes to ensure safe and environmentally sound operations,” states the website.

Exxon has bet big on natural gas. Last year it completed a $41 billion acquisition of XTO Energy Inc., a company that specializes in producing natural gas from shale formations.

The new website arrives at a time when environmentalists and some Democrats are pushing for new federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing.

At the same time, The New York Times is running an explosive — and disputed — series of stories that cast doubt on the conventional wisdom that the U.S. is on the front end of a sustained natural-gas boom.