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Originally posted by BobAthome
For everyone on this thread who may be interested
ENTNA just blew cat. RED+ALERT
HOUSTON – Texas is poised to become the first state to require gas drillers to publicly disclose the chemicals they use to release natural gas from tight rock formations, a groundbreaking measure that could set the stage for other states and the U.S. Congress to move ahead with their own measures to regulate hydraulic fracturing.
But environmentalists caution that the bill — while precedent-setting and a step in the right direction — is still too protective of industry.
"It's a glass half full kind of thing, pretty good job, pretty good legislation but we didn't go far enough," said Cyrus Reed, conservation director of the Sierra Club's Lone Star chapter.
The bill that passed the Texas House of Representatives on Thursday would require mandatory disclosure of many chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing — or "fracking" — process. Fracking — along with horizontal drilling — allows drillers to penetrate tight rock formations and release once out-of-reach minerals by pumping at high-pressure chemical-laced water into the ground.
Environmental groups argue the bill doesn't offer full protection to residents, landowners and the environment because operators would only be required to post on a website the maximum concentrations of chemicals regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Unregulated chemicals only have to be listed without the amount used. Operators can also opt out of full disclosure if they fear trade secrets will be harmed, in which case they would only have to tell the agency that oversees drilling what fluids they use.
Still, this puts Texas ahead of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Congress and several other states trying to pass similar measures.
"We are leaders in many, many areas and I hope this will show the federal government, the EPA, the Department of Energy that we can take care of our business. We are taking it seriously, there's no void down here and we expect the industry to ... protect the environment, to answer the concerns of the citizens of Texas," said Rep. James Keffer, the Republican chairman of the House Energy Committee, who oversaw passage of the bill.