Natural sources of methane are far more likely to contaminate groundwater than hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, according to a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded study published Monday.
The study examined methane levels in groundwater supplies going back 25 years and determined that biologically generated methane and naturally occurring coal were the primary sources of methane in groundwater.
The research also disproves environmental claims that methane from fracking causes tap-water to flame.
“This latest study is another blow to the credibility of anti-fossil fuel activists have made water contamination a central claim in their case against fracking despite being consistently debunked by science,” Randy Hildreth, the Colorado Director of the pro-industry group Energy In Depth, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “None of the cases of contamination researchers looked at in Colorado’s DJ Basin were attributed to wells using hydraulic fracturing and modern horizontal drilling techniques under today’s regulations.”
The study was entirely funded by the National Science Foundation’s AirWaterGas Sustainability Research Network at the University of Colorado and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study received no money from the energy industry.