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Rabe cited in coverage of new EPA report on fracking

June 8, 2015

Barry Rabe, a Ford School professor and director of the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP), was recently cited by both the Financial Times and the U.S. News & World Report in coverage surrounding the last week's release of findings by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Based on the results of the EPA's recent and highly-anticipated study, the agency announced that it has found no evidence that the procedure has caused "widespread" pollution of the water supply.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Rabe said, “This study is likely to keep vigilance over concerns about water fairly high. It may be that states require more testing of water before and after fracking.” Indeed, the agency acknowledged known cases of water contamination related to fracking, and further noted that its conclusions on the procedure were not definitive due to insufficient data.

While he expects that policymakers and experts will continue to debate the magnitude of a potential threat and the proper role of the government in regulating the industry, Rabe also anticipates that the report marks an important shift in the political environment that may shape the future of fracking policy. In a June 5 article in U.S. News & World Report, he noted that “this further removes EPA under this president or any other president from doing the big jump into fracking." "We’re not going to see any more big shifts in EPA on fracking on lands not held by the federal government," he added.

Barry Rabe is the J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Professor of Public Policy, Arthur Thurnau Professor at the Ford School, and director of the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP). He is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. In 2006, Barry became the first social scientist to receive a Climate Protection Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in recognition of his contribution to both scholarship and policymaking. Barry is a fellow of the National Academic of Public Administration and has served on NAPA panels as well as the 2013-14 National Resource Council Committee on Shale Gas Risks and Governance.