MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

May 3, 2014

Disclose fracking chemicals


— Congress should follow a major oil and gas industry supplier’s lead and require the disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing.

Baker Hughes says it will begin disclosing 100 percent of the chemicals it uses in fracking fluid.

Fracking — the injection of fluid into shale beds at high pressure in order to break up rock and free oil or natural gas — is controversial.

Some people believe the hike in earthquakes in central Oklahoma are the result of the process.

The idea of artificially and forcibly shifting underground rock should lead us to want the earthquake angle investigated.

We need to know which chemicals are used in the process.

Oil and gas companies have long held that the chemical makeup of their fracking fluids should be considered trade secrets.

Businesses have a right to protect proprietary information to keep it from benefiting competitors.

But protecting their profits should not come at the expense of the rest of us and the environment.

Companies defend fracking because it frees up oil and gas deposits so they can be extracted more easily from the earth.

Congress should require companies to disclose the chemicals that make up their fracking fluids so scientists can determine the long-term effects of fracking.

We should know what chemicals are being forcibly interjected underground because it has not been proven those chemicals won’t wind up in the water table.

Forcing something into nature that is not found in nature should raise red flags.

We should know what chemicals are being used.

Congress should act.