Fracking gets government attention
December 19, 2012
Oil companies in California utilizing hydraulic fracturing — fracking — will be required to disclose that information if Gov. Jerry Brown has his way. (Sacramento Bee)
The governor said Tuesday it would be the first application of such a regulation, designed to create more visibility of the controversial oil extraction method. The plan was immediately criticized by environmentalists for being “too lenient.” They fear pollution of underground water supplies.
Proposed by the state Department of Conservation, the new rules, if initiated, would require oil producers to monitor sites where such techniques were being used, test integrity of wells being subjected to hydraulic fracturing, to notify state regulators when they plan to use the technique, and to disclose the chemicals being used. Exception would be made where chemical contents are a trade secret.
In fracking, water and chemicals are injected into the ground to break up rock, releasing trapped oil reserves.
“Experience in other states has shown that such trade secret exemptions are being widely used and likely abused,” the Environmental Working Group’s Bill Allayaud said in a prepared statement.