Republicans Confident on Fracking - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Republicans Confident on Fracking

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A group of seven Republican congressmen paid a visit to North Dakota's oil country on Friday.

The representatives are members of the Energy and Commerce Committee of the US House.

They toured oil sites and held a press conference at the end of their visit.

One issue the group talked about was the potential for a ruling from the EPA or legislation from Congress that would stop hydraulic fracturing.

Fracking is the process used to inject water, sand, and chemicals into a well to extract oil from shale - it's responsible for nearly all of the state's growth in oil production in the last several years.

Opponents of fracking say the procedure endangers ground water supplies.

The members of Congress who visited North Dakota say they see no danger of a federally-ordered halt to fracking from the EPA.

(Rep. Ed Whitfield, -R- Kentucky) "The mere fact that after a lengthy review process they have not even proposed any regulations that I'm aware of, I think that's a positive development there because there is no evidence that any aquifer has been contaminated."

(Rep. Bill Johnson, -R- Ohio) "I don't think you're going to see any legislation coming out of the House that would recommend any further regulations on hydraulic fracturing. It seems to be coming along very well. The industry is doing a good job and the states are doing a great job in handling it."

The congressmen were guests of North Dakota Representative Kevin Cramer - a freshman in Congress this year who is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

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