The chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing - many of which are toxic or carcinogens - are the source of a significant degree of public concern. The impact of their use is, at best, uncertain and controversial. The concern is compounded by the thorny issue of disclosure of those chemicals - or lack thereof – that feeds continuing public angst, as evidenced by this coming Saturday's national day of action against fracking.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has published and important brief: State Hydraulic Fracturing Disclosure Rules and Enforcement: A Comparison that is worth review. (Full disclosure: I have been, though am not currently, a paid consultant to NRDC.) Here is a short summary of the brief by NRDC’s Amy Mall.
While industry leaders have called for their industry to be more transparent about chemical use, and while strides have been made, we are far from a nirvana of full disclosure or complete transparency, and thus far from calming the troubled public waters around a process that has reshaped our nation’s energy economy and which could, properly regulated, be the best available tool to combat climate disruption.