The controversy over fracking and the environment is a leading discussion topic for political candidate.

Obama proposed that the FY 2012 budget allocate $14 million toward fracking research.  The budget will include a dedicated study involving the impact of hydraulic fracturing, including air quality and effects fracking might have on the ecosystem.  The study will work in conjunction with the U.S. Geological Survey and the Department of Energy.

The EPA will face a budget cut of 1.2% or $105 million cut in funding, which will be hard to work with said, EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson.

The EPA’s total research budget is a total of $576 million, which includes $81 million for the agency’s STAR grants, which will sup­port research on frack­ing, poten­tial endocrine dis­rup­tors, and green infra­struc­ture.

The preliminary results of their current study on the impact of fracking to drinking water supplies will be expect at the end of the year and includes areas of Marcellus Shale drilling in Pennsylvania

Jackson said that the budget decrease this year will be difficult,

“This bud­get is focused on ful­fill­ing EPA’s core mis­sion to pro­tect health and the envi­ron­ment for mil­lions of Amer­i­can fam­i­lies,” said Jack­son. It demon­strates fis­cal respon­si­bil­ity, while still sup­port­ing clean air, healthy waters and inno­v­a­tive safe­guards that are essen­tial to an Amer­ica built to last.”

Much concern from the EPA and other environmental activist groups was the efforts to provide the public with a list of available chemicals used in fracking.  An $11 million increase in the budget has been set to provide the public with greater access to toxic chemicals information.  A 5.8% budget increase will also be made in compliance and enforcement.