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Revealing Fracking Chemicals Could Get You Jail Time in NC

Revealing Fracking Chemicals Could Get You Jail Time in NC

With all of the known dangers associated with fracking, Americans could use more laws protecting them from this irresponsible industry. A trio of North Carolina state senators has introduced new legislation that would provide additional protections for residents… just kidding, the laws would protect the fracking companies, obviously.

Evidently, the fracking industry’s “trade secrets” take precedent over citizen safety. The three conservative politicians’ bill stipulates that anyone who shares what kind of chemicals are being injected into the ground and seeping into waterways could be charged with a felony.

This news is terrible for everyone, really, but particularly environmentalists attempting to make the public aware of the dangers of fracking. In order to paint a complete picture, it helps to show which kinds of toxins are utilized. By protecting these ingredients as privileged information with the threat of jail time and substantial monetary fines, educating the public becomes that much more difficult.

Besides, it’s not as if these chemicals are secret on an industry-wide level. Already, 20 states mandate that fracking companies must disclose the chemicals they use in their process. To pretend that harmful chemicals that injure the environment are some sort of “secret sauce” that people can’t know about is ludicrous.

Defenders of the legislation insist that, aside from the felony charges, North Carolina’s proposed disclosure laws aren’t that much stronger than those that exist in some other states. Of course, to ignore the felony penalties is to ignore that the government is happy to align with the energy industry to intimidate those who speak out against fracking.

On the slightly bright side, the current bill makes room for one concession: “emergency” situations. In the case of a tragedy, doctors and fire chiefs could obtain the secret list of chemicals utilized by the pertinent fracking company. Even that scenario comes with a caveat, however, as these safety professionals would first be expected to sign confidentiality agreements to learn what they’re up against. The bill leaves it nebulous as to whether these professionals could be charged with a felony for subsequently discussing these chemicals with their own colleagues.

Currently, North Carolina officials have stopped all fracking in the state until stronger regulations could be established. While the initial proposals would have made North Carolina have some of the stricter fracking rules in the country, a recent string of laws and amendments by state Republicans are definitely putting those regulations in jeopardy.

Unsurprisingly, the three politicians leading the charge on making chemical disclosures a felony all have strong ties to the fracking industry. State Senators Buck Newton, Bob Rucho and Andrew Brock each receive large campaign donations from fracking companies like Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas, as well as from McGuireWoods, a lobbying company aligned with Koch, Halliburton and big name gas companies.

North Carolina residents have the right to know and discuss the kind of chemicals that are being injected into their communities. Though criminalizing exposing these toxins may deter some from speaking out against fracking, the truth will come out eventually.

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71 comments

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7:06AM PDT on Jul 28, 2014

I'd reveal them in heartbeat, whatever congressmen criminals do. Those corrupt congress criminals and the fracking companies giving them kickbacks are the ones who badly need hard jail time.

9:33AM PDT on May 26, 2014

And here we are fighting to stop it happening in the UK and they tell us what a success it all was in America !!
And of course OUR safety legislation will all be so strict (?) and the fracking companies will be carefully checked at all times (?) so we and our water will be perfectly safe (?)

Anyone remember the crooked man who walked a crooked mile ? This is the updated version

There was a fracking man
With an oily fracking smile
He found a fracking site
Just beyond our lovely stile
He bought the local Council
And built a fracking well
Now we all live together
In a little fracking hell

8:50PM PDT on May 25, 2014

Telling the truth, can land you in jail?

That is as religious as it gets.

1:13PM PDT on May 23, 2014

Our policitians no longer make any attempt to represent the people. Instead they represent big industry who lines their pockets. This country has become very corrupt.

These fracking chemicals are a huge list of chemicals that will poison our water supply FOREVER. Why make it against the law to disclose the actual chemicals being used? So that big industry can profit at the people's expense!

6:54AM PDT on May 23, 2014

Thanks

6:41AM PDT on May 23, 2014

It seems that all politicians are corrupt: democracy is a failed experiment which has been bought out by business interests the world over: protect the frackers but not those affected by it. It is happening in the UK as well: nothing must get in the way of big oil, big pharma and their corrupting influences

2:12AM PDT on May 23, 2014

noted

11:39PM PDT on May 22, 2014

We only seem to get pissed off when they are fracking in our own back yards. As long as they are doing it in someone else's back yard we just don't get excited.

I signed petitions 4 or 5 years ago on this very site for the people who lived in Pennsylvania who were lighting their kitchen faucets on fire from fracking.
I must have signed 4 or 5 petitions and then never heard a word about what happened. 60 minutes did an hour long special on the mess they made in PA and 48 Hours also did an expose on fracking and the frackers just moved on down south because no has the balls to take on the oil and gas companies.
Until we stand, inforce, say "ENOUGH" and vote the money grubbing whores out of office---we will all be able to light our faucets on fire.

11:11PM PDT on May 22, 2014

Sorry to say " Money Money Talks and Humanity Just Dies Off"

Our government doesn't give a rats ass how many voters die as long as their pockets bulge with the gas and oil companies money.

8:51PM PDT on May 22, 2014

This just doesn't make any sense.

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