Secretary of Energy Steven Chu has appointed a panel of seven scientific and environmental worthies to study the rapidly growing method of natural gas extraction known as hydraulic fracturing and to make recommendations about how it can be done more cleanly and more safely.
The group includes John Deutch, a former Central Intelligence Agency director; Kathleen McGinty, a former top White House environmental adviser; and Daniel Yergin, probably the best-known oil industry analyst in the country...
Broder's piece goes on to offer a smokescreen of protest by the right, but according to Dusty Horwitt of the Environmental Working Group, “An industry insider like John Deutch is completely unacceptable to lead this panel...It looks as if the Obama Administration has already reached the conclusion that fracking is safe.”
Dr. Chu announced his decision late Thursday. This being Washington, House Republicans immediately issued a press release denouncing the study as wasteful, duplicative and yet another example of regulatory red tape run amok.
On the other side of the Capitol, Senator Richard Burr, Republican of North Carolina, went them one better, introducing a bill to dismantle the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency...
The EWG press release presents a clearer picture of the Administration's positioning and refers to a study by Duke University researchers, that found high concentrations of methane in 68 wells near shale-gas drilling and hydrofracking sites in northeastern Pennsylvania and New York, confirming property owners’ suspicions that gas extraction was leaking methane into their drinking water.
The "Paper of Record" has just as much a right as any blogger to present the facts or distort them.
In, "E.P.A. Proposes New Emission Standards for Power Plants", I caught the editors of the Times editing out an account of how Ms. Jackson invited a group of second graders from a nearby elementary school to the announcement. Earlier today, Mar. 17, it was edited out. Was it Broder and Rudolf, or the Times? Are children not newsworthy?
"She invited a group of second graders from a nearby elementary school to attend the rule’s unveiling at her agency."
(Neil Zusman, 2011-03-17).
See: U.S. Congress. Committee on Space, Science, and Technology. "Hearing Highlights Lack of Objectivity in Draft EPA Fracking Study--No Evidence of Drinking Water Contamination from Fracking, Witnesses Say". May 11, 2011