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.