Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Energy & Environment Subcommittee 'Fracking' Hearing

The House Energy & Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, chaired by Ed Markey (D-MA), right, held a hearing today on the recently proposed merger of ExxonMobil Corporation and XTO Energy Inc., and the ramifications for U.S. oil and natural gas markets. The hearing also covered hydraulic fracturing issues, which included whether Congress should ban the practice and whether the drilling technique pollutes groundwater. The formal title of the hearing was, "The ExxonMobil-XTO Merger: Impacts on U.S. Energy Markets."

Witnesses included:

Rex Tillerson, Chairman and CEO, ExxonMobil Corporation
Bob R. Simpson, Chairman of the Board and Founder, XTO Energy Inc.

They said that hydraulic drilling would not pollute groundwater. They also agreed that the merger would be cancelled if Congress bans hydraulic fracturing, also called 'fracking.' Congress has requested another study of hydraulic fracturing. A 2004 EPA study concluded that fracking did not pollute groundwater, but the accuracy of that report is being disputed. We are sure Congressman Markey will hold another hearing soon that will include EPA. (More about the hearing at The Wall Street Journal, 1/21/10)

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