Thumbs up for EPA hydraulic fracturing investigation, but Antero--did you really say this?

Yesterday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has sent letters to nine hydraulic fracturing companies as part of the agency's scientific investigation into the environmental and health impacts of hydraulic fracturing. In these letters, the EPA asked the companies to voluntarily provide information on the chemical composition of hydraulic fracturing fluids, the purpose of chemicals used, and standard operating procedures at hydraulic fracturing sites, among other things. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson stated: "It’s critical that the extraction of this valuable natural resource does not come at the expense of safe water and healthy communities." We couldn't agree more, and we applaud the EPA for proactively investigating this practice. It is a welcome breath of fresh air when compared to the previous administration.

The Glenwood Springs, Colorado Post Independent published an article on this EPA action. An individual commented on the story, saying she lives very close to a site where a new natural gas well is being drilled and will be hydraulically fractured. The commenter writes that she asked Antero Resources if the company would help her family protect its water. She writes that an employee of Antero told her, "We're not in the business of protecting peoples' water."

I've blogged about Antero in the past because it has made strong environmental commitments to Colorado communities. I even called an agreement signed by Antero a "landmark agreement," because the company committed to using non-toxic hydraulic fracturing fluids, water testing and monitoring, pitless drilling, and other best management practices. Has Antero changed its tune? I hope not.