Salazar hints at fracking disclosure

Feb. 15, 2012 at 7:30 AM   |   Comments

CLEVELAND, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- A lack of transparency over the chemical makeup of hydraulic fracturing fluid might strike a blow to the shale gas industry, the U.S. interior secretary said.

The United States has some of the richest deposits of shale natural gas. Critics say that chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, fluid could contaminate waters supplies.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the department was preparing rules that would require companies to disclose the composition of fracking fluids and call for tighter regulations to protect the environment.

"To me, those rules are common sense," Salazar was quoted by the Platts news service as saying during a speech in Ohio. "And if we do not move forward with that kind of program from the Department of Interior, my own view is that the failure of disclosure and the failure of giving the American people confidence that hydraulic fracturing will in fact work will end up being the Achilles heel of the energy promise of America."

Ohio hosts a portion of the Utica and Marcellus shale deposits.

Salazar said the regulations would be unveiled in the coming weeks. He said he hoped they'd serve as a model for shale gas campaigns on private land, which isn't under the interior department's direct authority.

Topics: Ken Salazar
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