An environmental group this week issued a report saying oil and gas companies have enjoyed exemptions to common sense anti-pollution federal rules that govern companies in other industries. This has led, the Environmental Working Group claims, to fouled groundwater, creeks and acres and acres of formerly pristine land in the U.S. West.
The report, “Free Pass for Oil and Gas in the American West,” contains county-by-county maps of what it says are examples of mismanagement of the oil and gas industry.
“Drilling companies regularly complain that environmental standards deny them access to sites where they’d like to drill,” the EWG said. “But the cratered landscape tells a different story.”
The report claims that 270,000 oil and natural gas wells have been drilled since 1980, and 120,000 of them since 2000. Most of those wells are for natural gas.
The EWG says that these well have been drilled with waivers to federal environmental laws including the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Water Act.