Congressman Pete Olson

Representing the 22nd District of Texas


September 20, 2013
Press Release

Washington, DC - Rep. Pete Olson (TX-22) today applauded a comprehensive study conducted by the University of Texas that concluded that new technologies are cutting methane emissions during completions at oil and gas drilling sites by some 97% compared to a 2011 study by the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA).

"We have long known that fracking is safe and this in-depth, peer reviewed study confirms that it bears increasingly minimal local environmental impacts," Olson said.  â€œIt strongly refutes the distortions created by those who irrationally oppose American fossil fuel production. The UT findings rebut a 2011 study by two Cornell University scientists – who had a record of opposition to fracking - that claimed substantial global warming impacts from hydraulic fracturing due to the release of methane.  However, several other universities including MIT, as well as the US Department of Energy, criticized the results of the Cornell study as being overly inflated, and an independent researcher showed that the data from the Cornell scientists was flawed.  The Cornell study was made possible by grants from the Park Foundation, which also funded the anti-fracking movies Gasland and Gasland II."

“Increasing access to these resources will ensure a stable, affordable supply of energy, create hundreds of thousands of high paying jobs, improve air quality and reduce our reliance on energy from hostile nations. I urge the public to research the agenda of those who deploy scare tactics and remain focused on the facts, not political agendas," said Olson.

"The political scare tactics of environmental extremists do a large disservice to academic scholarship.  The economic and national security benefits of tapping the vast natural gas resources available in the US are clear, and we can do this without any significant threat to our environment.  Facts are persistent things and if we keep to the facts, the American people will know the truth.”  Olson concluded.

This work reports direct measurements of methane emissions at 190 onshore natural gas sites in the United States. The measurements indicate that well completion emissions are lower than previously estimated.



Media Contact: Melissa Kelly