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Page 24 n Thursday, June 14, 2012


BAKKEN BREAKOUT WEEKLY Official sorry about pollution comments CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — The top state

regulator of oil and gas development in Wyoming has apologized for saying greed is motivating people in the Pavil- lion area who blame hydraulic fracturing for polluting the groundwater around the small central Wyoming community. State Oil And Gas Conservation Com-

mission Supervisor Tom Doll made the remarks about Pavillion-area residents June 5 at a meeting of state regulators in Vancouver, British Columbia. “I really believe greed is driving a lot

of this,” the energy news publication En- ergyWire quoted Doll as saying. People around Pavillion, he said, are

“just looking to be compensated.” Doll’s comments at an Interstate Oil

and Gas Commission Compact meeting don’t reflect the view of Gov. Matt Mead’s administration, Mead spokesman Renny MacKay said. “Governor Mead has directed state

agencies and their staffs to assure an open and transparent process to address the concerns of Pavillion-area residents,” MacKay said. “The comments made by Mr. Doll are contrary to the governor’s expectation.” Doll apologized for the remarks in a

statement June 6, calling them “inappro- priate and inconsiderate.” Fracking involves pumping water,

sand and chemicals underground to crack open oil and gas deposits. A draft U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report released in December theo- rizes that fracking might have polluted groundwater in the Pavillion area. Numerous state officials disputed

the study’s findings even before the full study was released to the public. The critics included Doll, who in a long email to other state officials in November ex- pressed worry about how the EPA report would affect state revenues and the eco-

Associated Press

Natural gas wellheads and other production facilities dot farming and ranching operations around the rural community of Pavillion, Wyo., in this 2007 file photo.

nomic viability of certain oil and gas de- posits, an Associated Press investigation revealed last month. State regulators and the EPA have

since agreed to additional testing of the Pavillion-area groundwater. The new testing began this spring.

Doll’s apology wasn’t enough for

John Fenton, chairman of the Pavillion Area Concerned Citizens, who called on Mead to question the value of a supervi- sor who has “lost all objectivity.” “I think Governor Mead needs to consider, is this somebody he wants rep-

resenting the Oil and Gas Commission as his administrator, as someone who says whatever he wants and he supports industry no matter what goes on?” Fen- ton said. “I think the state and the people of Wyoming damn sure need more than that.”

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