Inhofe on Hydraulic Fracturing: No Problem in Oklahoma Since It Started in 1949

By Penny Starr | November 27, 2012 | 4:45 PM EST

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) spoke at a press conference in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 27, 2012 to announce a petition drive to 'rein in' the Environmental Protection Agency. ( Starr)

( – At a press conference held to announce a petition drive to “rein in” the Environmental Protection Agency, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) spoke against pending regulations on the U.S. energy sector, including those that would restrict hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas.

“I happen to be from Oklahoma,” Inhofe said at Tuesday's press conference. “The first hydraulic fracturing job was done in 1949 in my state of Oklahoma and there’s never been a documented case of ground-water contamination in its history, with over a million applications of hydraulic fracturing.”

The Heartland Institute, a free-market think tank, launched the petition drive to protest the EPA’s regulatory policies, including those it says are based on the false premise of man-made global warming, would limit domestic energy production and cost hundreds of thousands of Americans their jobs.

Inhofe said that many of the EPA’s regulations were put off until after the election because President Barack Obama “didn’t want to talk about the cost to the American people, in terms of jobs and taxes, of what these regulations were.”

In October, Sens. Inhofe, Mary Landrieu (D-La.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), as members of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson asking for clarification on the agency’s proposed guidance for oil and natural gas hydraulic fracturing activities.

“Specifically, we are concerned with the impetus of this guidance, its vagueness and lack of certainty it provides to states and businesses, its impacts on states that have been delegated primacy for the Underground Injection Control program under the Safe Drinking Water Act and the additional requirements that will be imposed on permit writers in primacy states,” the letter states.

The EPA website makes its case for regulating hydraulic fracturing.

“EPA is working with states and other key stakeholders to help ensure that natural gas extraction does not come at the expense of public health and the environment,” the introduction to the page states. “The Agency's focus and obligations under the law are to provide oversight, guidance and, where appropriate, rulemaking that achieve the best possible protections for the air, water and land where Americans live, work and play.”

The Heartland Institute reports it has collected 16,000 signatures on its petition as of Tuesday.