Democrats Rally To Demand Fracking Liquid Disclosure

Just days ago, 46 members of Congress wrote a letter in support of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s request that natural gas companies be required to disclose what chemicals they use in the controversial natural gas drilling process called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”

During this process, “millions of gallons of water, sand and proprietary chemicals are injected, under high pressure, into a well. The pressure fractures the shale and props open fissures that enable natural gas to flow more freely out of the well” (Gasland).

In 2005, the Bush/Cheney Energy Bill exempted natural gas drilling from the Safe Drinking Water Act, even though the EPA has agreed that it is associated with drinking water pollution in many states.

Take Action: Support a repeal of the natural gas industry exemption from the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Oil and gas companies continue to assure us that their drilling projects are safe,” DeGette said in a written statement. “But those same companies refuse to back up their assertions by disclosing the chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process.”

“For too long the Bush Administration let big oil dictate the rules and undercut basic safeguards,” said U.S. Rep. Polis. “I applaud Secretary Salazar’s common sense approach, restoring a much-needed balance in our energy policy. Wherever hydraulic fracturing occurs, public lands or off, we must ensure that the appropriate oversight is in place so we can tell if and when dangerous chemicals are being used, endangering water sources and the public’s health.”

The letter was a response to a Jan. 4 letter from 32 others – including Denver-area Republican Mike Coffman – that asked Salazar to put on hold any plans to regulate fracking fluids (Durango Herald).

Colorado Democratic Reps. Jared Polis and Diana DeGette along with Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., co-sponsored the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals (FRAC) Act in 2009, only to see it languish in the overall gridlock over energy policy and climate-change legislation (Colorado Independent).

Take Action: Support a repeal of the natural gas industry exemption from the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Image Credit: Flickr - Marcellus Protest

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Jane H.
Jane H.2 years ago

We do need to know what chemicals go into the fracking and they need to be OK'ed or not, so let's find out and either stop it ofr let it go on. We need facts!

Alan B.
Archie B.2 years ago

SO! NOW we know why the determination to pollute our water supplies,to help in creating a WORLD / NATIONWIDE water shortage! These criminal "BIG INVESTOR DUDES" They need JAILING,nothing less!

Marilyn T.
Marilyn T.4 years ago

Alicia T.
Alicia Todd4 years ago

Everyone should know about this.

Donna D.
Donna D.4 years ago

I grew up near Cleveland, where the flaming Cuyahoga River earned nothing but contempt and derision as an example of the worst pollution in the nation.

Why on blessed mother earth are we not learning from the past? And this is even worse, not just one river but potentially aquifers all over the nation!

Marilyn T.
Marilyn T.4 years ago

Fracking had taken place in Colorado and the same happened to people miles away.
The water was ignitable.
The gas companies must be held accountable.

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle4 years ago

If you watch the documentary, you will see the devastation that has already taken place in many states, both east and west, as fracking went into effect. WATER THAT BURNS because of the chemicals in it -- THIS IS SAFE?? for humans and animals? People have to move away, and their land is worthless to sell. Good hard-working Americans who lived on ranches and farms. Corporate influence is totally out of control.

Gail Lopez
Gail Lopez4 years ago

Thank you, Beth.

Sharon Abreu
Sharon Abreu4 years ago

We have got to stop wasting energy squeezing bits of dirty energy out of the ground. This includes oil, natural gas, coal and uranium. We need to push much harder for energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. We need them now. It's time to end subsidies to the oil, coal and nuclear industries and make the energy efficiency-renewable energy revolution happen in the United States. If we want to create jobs, stop global warming, save our water and our economy, we will do this - now.

James Fazerider
James F.4 years ago

@Louis F.
Not quite what I said, but I'll agree. :)
And yes, vague information such as the link you provided is available publicly,
Fracking companies provide details where required by state law, not all states have such regulations. The EPA asked for voluntary disclosure and most companies complied... Halliburton didn't, so the EPA had to resort to subpoena. Making it a federal requirement to provide the information does not seem excessively onerous.