The United States Department of Energy is openly welcoming decisions by oil and gas conglomerate Baker Hughes to reveal all chemicals used during the hydraulic fracking process. The U. S. DoE says that knowing what chemicals and how much of them are used is necessary for understanding the effects they have on the environment and, more importantly, humans.
The Department of Energy Assistant Energy Secretary told reporters last Friday that this decision by Baker Hughes is an extremely important step in "building public confidence." Fracking has long been scrutinized for the danger surrounding it. From workplace disasters to spills to thousands of complaints from people who protest because of the condition of their drinking water, hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as "fracking," has come under serious fire over the past several years. However, because it is such a lucrative industry, fracking-backed politicians and lobbyist groups have done all they can to keep regulations to a minimum.
There are currently loopholes in laws that environmental groups and fracking regulators say are a serious problem because of the lack of information that must be made available. Anti-fracking groups say that dangerous chemicals within fracking fluids are precisely the types of things these loopholes protect.
Halliburton, the Houston, Texas company who is already not looked fondly upon by many Americans, is trying to persuade Baker Hughes, another Houston-based company, to quit the inquisition before it begins. Halliburton spokespeople say that the company's "intellectual property and the substantial investment it represent[s]" should be enough to keep them safe from such a rigorous investigation.
Source: WFMJ, "DOE welcomes Baker Hughes move on frack chemicals" 24 April 2014