Oil and Gas Companies Injected Cancer-Causing Chemicals During Fracking; Backlash Grows

Drilling companies still claim that fracking, which involves shooting chemicals and water underground to release gas, is safe but they are increasingly fighting an uphill battle against facts.

The AP reported today that a new report by House Dems Henry Waxman of California, Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Diana DeGette of Colorado found that oil and gas companies injected millions of gallons of potentially hazardous chemicals from 2005-9 while fracking. Twenty-nine of these chemicals, like methanol, are known or suspected carcinogens and were either regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act or the Clean Air Act.

Here's more:

The report said that from 2005-2009, the following states had at least 100,000 gallons of hydraulic fracturing fluids containing a carcinogen: Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Wyoming, North Dakota, New Mexico, Montana and Utah.

States with 100,000 gallons or more of fluids containing a regulated chemical under the Safe Drinking Water Act were: Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, Mississippi and North Dakota.

The report said many chemical components were listed as "proprietary" or "trade secret."

So, that means that companies can claim to have a special recipe and then they are allowed to inject chemicals known to be hazardous underground where they can contaminate water, wildlife, food, air and our own health.

This has got to end -- and it can if we can pass the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals (FRAC) Act that was introduced by Representatives Diana DeGette, Jared Polis, and Maurice Hinchey in the House and by Senators Bob Casey and Chuck Schumer in the Senate. The FRAC Act would close the loophole (engineered by Cheney) that allows companies to pollute without penalty.

Democracy for America is one of the organizations working to pass the FRAC Act and just yesterday thousands of their members gathered to watch the documentary Gasland, which helped to catapult fracking concerns into the limelight, and DFA members committed to gather 100,000 petition signatures by Earth Day to pass the FRAC Act in Congress.

Join them.


AlterNet / By Tara Lohan

Posted at April 18, 2011, 8:39am

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