March 5, 2012

What chemicals are used in fracking?

In the United States, most drilling companies have been reluctant to reveal the chemicals they use in fracking, saying the information is proprietary. So it’s still a mystery—and you can thank Dick Cheney. While VP in 2005, Cheney spearheaded an amendment to the Safe Drinking Water Act, which exempted hydraulic fracturing and allowed companies like Halliburton, of which Cheney was once the C.E.O., from disclosing to the EPA what chemicals are used in fracking fluids. That was a real mistake because it makes the public needlessly paranoid.

Will gas companies give up their fracking chemical secrets? Obama is attempting to force these companies to divulge these chemicals and the amount of chemicals used during fracking on federal lands. Canada may demand it soon too. The Secretary of Energy's advisory group has also called for such disclosure by shale gas operators on ALL lands. The advisory group further recommended that data on a well-by-well basis be posted on publicly available, searchable websites. So look for it to become another election issue!