Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

Rick Perry on Fracking Contamination: “Bring Me the Evidence”

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Rick Perry campaigns at a coffee shop in Iowa on December 16, 2011

A few weeks after the Environmental Protection Agency released a draft report that found a link between hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and water contamination in Wyoming, the Texas governor is weighing in on the topic.

Not that he necessarily intended to do so. As KUT’s Ben Philpott reports, at the final stop of the day on his bus tour of Iowa Sunday, an Obama supporter asked Perry about links between fracking and water pollution.

“We can have this conversation, but you cannot show me one place where there is a proven — not one — where there is proven pollution of groundwater by hydraulic fracturing,” Perry said. “Bring me the paper, bring me the paper — show me the paper, I’m just telling you.”

The governor has a long history of sparring with the EPA over regulations. “I am truly offended that the American public would be hoodwinked by stories that do not scientifically hold up,” he said.

His sentiments on fracking and water contamination echo those of other officials in the state: fracking in Texas is different. “We have been using hydraulic fracturing in my home state for years,” Perry said. “And this is a fear tactic that the left is using and the environmental community is using that absolutely, excuse the pun, does not hold water.”

Someone else in the audience then shouted he was wrong, KUT’s political reporting partner, the TexasTribune reports, and Perry replied: “Bring me the evidence, and once we do that, you show it to me, and I’ll be the first to say you got a point.”

The EPA report that found a link between fracking and water contamination began three years ago after residents in Wyoming said their water began tasting and smelling funny after drilling operations there. The agency has released the report for public comment and scientific review.


About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »