December 20, 2011
Natural gas giant Encana Corp. is stepping up an unusually public battle with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over water-contamination findings that threaten to fuel opposition to the industry's controversial drilling methods.
The Calgary-based natural gas giant hosted an hour-long presentation Tuesday, detailing errors it believes the EPA made in its study concluding natural gas wells in Wyoming controlled by Encana contaminated the area's water. Encana's criticism ranged from EPA lab results to methodology and the agency's understanding of geology and hydrology.
"It is less unusual in the U.S. than it is in Canada to air your differences of opinion [publicly on] a very important issue for the industry," said Dennis Mahony. "It is more the culture in the U.S."
Because the EPA chose to release its report on such a sensitive topic in such a high-profile way, Encana is wise to debate the regulator publicly, Dennis said. "From Encana's perspective, this is a legitimate effort to balance the debate."
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