Website offers some details about fracking chemicals: A public education effort or a slick PR campaign to take pressure off the natural gas industry?
Yesterday, Halliburton unveiled a new website that offers some details about the mix of chemicals used in a natural gas drilling technique following the Environmental Protection Agency‘s (EPA) decision last week to subpoena Halliburton to force the company to turn over information about the chemicals it produces for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
Halliburton has said the website is not a response to EPA’s actions or meant to satisfy the agency’s demands, but it does appear to be an attempt on the company’s part to allay public concerns about the impact of the practice on drinking water.
Fracking is a process that injects a mixture of water, sand and chemicals into rock formations to increase oil and natural gas production. A decades old process, the use of the drilling practice exploded in recent years as companies have begun to realize the profits that can come through the extraction of unconventional yet abundant reserves of shale gas.
The expansion of shale gas drilling has raised ire of some homeowners in areas near gas development, who complain the drilling has contaminated their drinking water, and environmental groups have called for more federal oversight of the practice and complete disclosure of all the chemicals involved.
Energy companies argue that the practice is safe, pointing out that it is done thousands of feet below ground, much deeper than most water sources. However, in response to public concerns, some companies have begun attempting to make information about the chemicals used in fracking more accessible to the public.
The new website outlines the make-up and concentration of the chemicals contained in three of its products commonly used for hydraulic fracturing in Pennsylvania. (Website: here) However, the website does not list the chemicals used in individual well sites, but they claim they will expand the site to include details about fracking fluids for every state where the company’s services are used.
By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.
- EPA: Halliburton Issued Subpoena For Refusing To Disclose Hydraulic Fracturing, ‘Fracking,’ Chemical Ingredients (huffingtonpost.com)
- Halliburton Announces Ecofriendly Fracking Fluid, More Disclosure (nytimes.com)