Texas Passes First Fracking Disclosure Bill

Last night, Texas lawmakers passed its version of House Bill 3328, which requires natural gas drillers to disclose the chemicals used during the fracking process.

Hydraulic fracturing is a process associated with deep natural gas extraction. Millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals are injected, under high pressure, into a well. The pressure fractures the shale and opens fissures that enable natural gas to flow more freely out of the well.

Typically, 80 to 300 tons of chemicals may be used.

Environmentalists and the public have fought for the disclosure of these chemicals, claiming they have a right to know whether these chemicals are polluting groundwater.

For the most part, natural gas drilling companies have fought against disclosing these chemicals -- until now.

The bill mandates the drilling companies to disclose 100-percent of the chemicals well by well, location by location, and post the list on a website.

Because of changes to the bill, it will likely require a conference committee to reconcile the differences.

The following is a statement from Scott Anderson, senior policy adviser at Environmental Defense Fund:

“This bill represents a positive step. Industry needs to reassure the public regarding its actions and this will help. While it isn’t the model we had hoped for, it will help move disclosure efforts forward across the country and globe; and will hopefully put the industry closer to full, mandatory disclosure.”