Greens rank frackers with most violations

Chesapeake Energy Corp. has racked up the most regulatory violations for hydraulic fracturing in the three states that make data available, a pair of environmental groups said.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and FracTracker Alliance said Chesapeake had 669 violations in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Colorado between 2008 and 2013, the most of any company.

ADVERTISEMENT

The findings were part of an analysis the groups released Thursday aimed at publicizing violation data and highlighting the fact that the 33 other states where fracking occurs do not provide information on violations.

“People deserve to know what’s happening in their own backyards, but too often homeowners aren’t even informed if there’s a threat to their health,” Amy Mall, a senior policy analyst at the NRDC and the report’s co-author, said in a statement.

“Our representatives have a responsibility to protect the people who elect them, not help keep a dangerous industry shrouded in secrecy,” she said. “States are falling down on their responsibility to be a watchdog for the people who live there.”

Energy In Depth, an industry project from the Independent Petroleum Association of America, accused the green groups of “clumsy” data errors and that the data they were looking for is easy to find.

“To be clear, the NRDC and FTA have faulted a select group of operators for violations of less than one-half of a percent of all wells drilled during a four year period,” the group wrote in a blog post.

Among the other companies with the most violations were Cabot Oil and Gas Corp., Talisman Energy Inc. and Range Resources Corp.

Pennsylvania had the majority of the more than 4,600 violations the groups tracked, accounting for more than 4,000 of them.