JULY 27, 2012
As fracking spreads to more states, so does the secrecy behind the dangerous drilling process.
The Natural Resources Defense Council released an analysis today that concludes "no state has an adequate set of disclosure rules – this, notwithstanding the many claims made by states to have “the best” rules in the country."
Fracking -- the common term for hydraulic fracturing -- is when water, chemicals and sand are blasted at high velocity into a shaft to crack rock deep underground and release natural gas, which is then collected.
One of the problems with this process are the chemicals used. Most state regulations regarding fracking allow the drillers to decide what they will disclose, and for the most part that is almost nothing.
Fracking has been linked to multiple cases of contaminated drinking water and water faucets that will ignite when in contact with a flame. So it it seems natural that the public should be warned about the toxins that drillers are pumping into the groundwater.
But ensuring safe drinking water has never been a high priority for the fossil fuel industry. Here is what the NRDC found:
-- Most states with fracking have no disclosure rules.
-- Every state with fracking rules fails to require disclosure of important aspects of fracking.
-- Most states with rules allow companies to exploit “trade secret” exemptions to prevent disclosure of any information the company decides is confidential.
-- Enforcement is spotty, so the disclosure requirements that do exist are sometimes ignored.
Tom Cmar has a great write-up on their report. Check it out. And if you want to do something about fracking, you can attend this weekend's Stop the Frack Attack rally in Washington, D.C, and you can sign our petition demanding Congress ban fracking immediately and permanently.