This is a useful step in holding drilling companies accountable. They’ve refused to disclose what they use, claiming it was a “proprietary formula” that could be treated as a trade secret:
(Reuters) – The U.S. government will require natural gas drillers to disclose which chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing on public lands, according to draft rules crafted by the Interior Department.
President Barack Obama pledged in the State of the Union address last week that the government would develop a road map for responsible natural gas production and roll out new rules to ensure drillers protect the environment.
Companies would be required to disclose the “complete chemical makeup of all materials used” in fracking fluids under the Interior Department’s draft rules, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.
The industry objected to any rule that would force drillers to reveal the chemicals used in fracking, during which chemical-laced water and sand are blasted deep below ground to release oil and natural gas trapped within rock formations. Fracking has allowed companies to tap a wealth of new natural gas reserves but critics say the procedure has polluted water and air.