TEXAS: Drilling safety questions remain despite new disclosure law

TEXAS: Drilling safety questions remain despite new disclosure law by E & E News, August 9, 2012 (Subscription required)
Industry maintains that drilling and its complementary extraction process — fracturing, or fracking — are safe. But advocates of tighter drilling regulations say too many risks remain. Speaking on behalf of people in the latter camp, attorney Terry Welch told the Dallas City Council last week that fracturing chemicals are largely undisclosed and that many of the substances are toxic. Ed Ireland, director of the industry-backed Barnett Shale Energy Education Council, told city councilors that Texas law requires chemical disclosure in all cases and that the chemicals drillers use in their shale-cracking fluid mixtures are safe. … An investigation by the Dallas Morning News uncovered evidence to support parts of both Welch’s and Ireland’s claims. Some fracturing chemicals are still kept secret under proprietary exemptions, and some — but not all — of the substances are toxic. … The Dallas Morning News concluded that although the law requires disclosure, it will not tell Texans all they might want to know about the chemicals drillers are shooting underground. … For instance, the Schlumberger product A264, a corrosion inhibitor, has two chemicals the company disclosed and two it kept secret. The product is marked as toxic.

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