Last summer, I wrote about the Environmental Protection Agency’s shameful persecution of a Texas natural-gas company, Range Resources Corp. The year before, EPA had slapped the company with an “emergency order” under the Safe Drinking Water Act, alleging that it “caused or contributed to” the contamination of two water wells west of Fort Worth. Almost immediately, however, EPA was forced to admit that Range had no connection whatsoever to the contamination in question. It nonetheless insisted on the company’s obedience to the original order.
I argued then that this was all a shameful abuse of power. Well, just last week, after a nearly two-year odyssey in which the company has spent $4.2 million defending itself, EPA agreed to drop the whole thing. The withdrawal of the emergency order was officially announced at the end of last week, where the government usually tries to bury its embarrassments. But the question remains: Why now?
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