A Tainted Well Points to Trouble with Natural Gas Drilling

Thursday, August 04, 2011

The oil and gas industry drills natural gas wells with a technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. And for decades, both industry executives and regulators have maintained that it’s safe. In an appearance before congress in January of last year, Rex W. Tillerson, the chief executive of ExxonMobil, claimed that "there is not one, not one, reported case of a fresh water aquifer having ever been contaminated from hydraulic fracturing, not one." Now, there is one.

The E.P.A. has unearthed an old case, from 1984 in West Virginia. The report indicates clearly that fracking contaminated drinking water, and that the oil and gas industry was aware of the possible dangers of the practice.

Ian Urbina, reported the story for our partner The New York Times, tells us more about the revelation.


Ian Urbina

Produced by:

Posey Gruener

Comments [3]

Laura, I'm sorry it wasn't mentioned in the segment but we have covered the documentary! When the movie came out we did a story on it:


Aug. 04 2011 11:30 AM
Laura Jackson from Manhattan

How can you do a report on fracking without once mentioning the Academy Award nominated film Gasland? This morning's story implied that there has only been one incident of contaminated water due to fracking. Many listeners may not have seen or heard of Gasland and mentioning it would have offered them a chance to further explore this very important issue.

Aug. 04 2011 10:54 AM
Peg from Southern Tier NY

...which is why we should not risk New York's water resources by allowing Fracking in our State.

Aug. 04 2011 07:27 AM

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