Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) took his campaign for president to Iowa recently, where he commented to a small crowd that the Obama administration is “trying to scare people” about natural gas fracing. At the gathering in Cedar Rapids, he also maintained that natural gas drilling with hydraulic fracturing has never damaged groundwater, and expressed concern that Iowans would miss out on the natural gas boom: “You have this administration talking about stopping hydraulic fracing, trying to scare people, saying that hydraulic fracing somehow or other is going to damage the groundwater, and so we’ve got to stop this. Not one time that I’m aware of has hydraulic fracing impacted groundwater. And if we don’t have the ability to frac, then all of the Pennsylvania Marcellus shale...you know, we don’t know what’s under the surface here in Iowa. There may be copious amounts of natural gas down there. Because the Eagle Ford in Texas, no one knew it was there until four or five years ago. New technologies are finding new ways to bring this energy source. And we need to be talking about ways to make America as independent energy-wise as we can. And it covers the watershed.” The blog Think Progress, which is part of the liberal Center for American Progress Action Fund, posted video of Perry’s campaign remarks Aug. 16. Last week, an Energy Department advisory panel published a report that’s bullish on fracing as a way to unlock a major domestic energy source. While the report calls for increased monitoring and safeguards it did not delve into specific regulatory recommendations.
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