ABC and NBC sustained their refusal on Friday morning to cover a new report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that found oil and natural gas fracking does not cause harm to the country’s drinking water.
After all three networks omitted any mention of the study on their Thursday evening newscasts, ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today continued that pattern while CBS This Morning broke through and provided a new brief on the topic.
During the program’s daily segment that highlights newspaper headlines from across the country, co-host Charlie Rose reported the following in a brief that lasted only 19 seconds:
The New York Times says a report the Environmental Protection Agency finds there is no evidence hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has a widespread effect on the nation’s water supply, but the report does say the techniques used for oil and gas extraction have the potential to contaminate drinking water.
Surprisingly hailed by the Times as a “landmark” study, its findings deal a major blow to the Obama administration and environmentalists who have long argued that fracking can cause damage to the water supply in communities where drilling is taking place. It noted that only in situations with poorly constructed wells or improper treatment of waste can fracking lead to problems.
Here’s more from the Times article (which appeared on page 12 of the front section in the Friday print edition):
It notes several specific instances in which the chemicals used in fracking led to contamination of water, including drinking water wells, but it emphasized that the number of cases was small compared with the number of fracked wells.
The agency has been working on the study since 2010, when it was requested by Congress.
Fracking, the use of which has increased sharply over the last decade, has led to a boom in American oil and gas production, putting the nation on track to be the world’s largest energy producer. Fracking has also created many jobs, driving new economic growth in states like North Dakota.
Instead of even giving similar coverage to this story (as CBS did), ABC’s Good Morning America devoted one minute and 12 seconds to reporting how a New York City plumber had hid a lottery ticket in a pipe that he later found to have been a winning ticket worth $136 million. Over on NBC’s Today, the co-hosts spent one minute and 26 seconds discussing the top wedding songs.
The transcript of the news brief from CBS This Morning on June 5 can be found below.
CBS This Morning
June 5, 2015
7:31 a.m. Eastern
[ON-SCREEN NEWSPAPER HEADLINE: New York Times; Fracking Has Not Had Big Effect on Water Supply, E.P.A. Says While Noting Risks]
CHARLIE ROSE: The New York Times says a report the Environmental Protection Agency finds there is no evidence hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has a widespread effect on the nation’s water supply, but the report does say the techniques used for oil and gas extraction have the potential to contaminate drinking water.