Industry groups: Administration overestimating emissions at ‘fracking’ sites

Feldman added that the API–ANGA study involved wells “distributed over a much broader geographic area” than those studied by EPA.

Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” involves high-pressure injections of water, chemicals and sand into rock formations, which open up cracks that enable trapped gas to flow.

Use of fracking in shale-gas formations is enabling a U.S. natural gas boom, but bringing concerns about water contamination along with it.

API and ANGA both oppose the updated regulations regarding fracking issued by the EPA in April. The regulations have been the subject of aggressive public relations and lobbying campaigns in recent months, with industry groups arguing they will impose huge burdens on companies, and environmental groups countering that they are essential to protect public health.

Environmentalists have appealed to the White House to not allow API and other industry groups to compromise the new rules with loopholes and render them ineffective.

The EPA said that its regulations are already standard operating procedure at roughly half of the nation’s fractured-shale gas wells.

The Interior Department also issued draft rules to regulate fracking on public lands by requiring disclosure of chemical ingredients, in addition to well-integrity and water management requirements. About 20 percent of the nation’s natural gas is mined on public lands.

Feldman said the gas supplies made available through hydraulic fracturing are bolstering the American economy.

“They’re creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs, lowering business costs, and stimulating new manufacturing,” he said.  

In response to the report, the EPA issued this statement:

"EPA will review and consider the recently released API report. We are always open to reviewing relevant information that may help inform the science around important standards. The agency’s methane emissions estimates are based on the best data available, and our NSPS was informed by extensive industry feedback and leverages technologies that are already widely deployed by producers. In fact, the standard will allow the industry to capture additional product to be sold at market."

Updated at 6:49 p.m.