Rick Perry stands up for natural gas drilling

Texas Governor Rick Perry has wavered on some topics while on the national stage, but he hasn’t changed his stance on natural gas drilling or hydraulic fracturing.

During one of Perry’s campaign stops in Iowa this weekend, Carrie Kauffman, 22, asked him about the links between hydraulic fracking and water contamination, according to a Texas Tribune story.

“If that was true, it would be on the front page of every newspaper, it would be on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News – everybody would be running that story,” Perry said.

Perry, who has been at odds with the Environmental Protection Agency before, said the public was being “hoodwinked by stories that don’t scientifically hold up,” according to The Tribune story.

Last week, the EPA released a report that found hydraulic fracturing fluids and chemicals associated with gas production in deep water wells, marking the first time that contamination has been tied to natural gas drilling.

Since then, critics have attacked the EPA report, claiming it is “scientifically questionable.”

Hydraulic fracturing involves blasting a mix of water, sand and chemicals deep underground and at high pressures to break up dense shale rock and extract oil and natural gas.

For years, the industry has insisted the process is safe, but environmentalists have argued that fracking can cause ground water contamination, air pollution or earthquakes.

But Perry said those allegations haven’t been scientifically proven.

“Bring me the evidence, and once we do that, you show it to me, and I’ll be the first to say you’ve got a point,” he said.

The Texas governor is no stranger to the hydraulic fracturing process, or to fights with the EPA. Perry used some of the same talking points that experts and natural gas drillers used last week after the report came out.

“We have been using hydraulic fracturing in my home state for years,” Perry said, according to an NPR State Impact story. “And this is a fear tactic that the left is using and the environmental community is using that absolutely, excuse the pun, does not hold water.”