Texas House Approves Disclosure Requirement on Fracking Fluids

"AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas House on Wednesday approved what would be the nation's first law to require drilling companies to publicly disclose the contents of fluids used in hydraulic fracturing.

Dozens of companies pump fluid into shale formations to break up the rock in order to extract natural gas, a process known as fracking. Most companies presently keep the chemical composition of the fluid secret.

Under the bill approved Wednesday, natural gas drillers would have to report the content of the fluid to the Texas Railroad Commission. If the company believes the recipe is a trade secret, they can request that the commission keep the contents confidential. The attorney general would then decide if the claim of a trade secret is legitimate under the legislation.

The Republican-controlled House approved the measure on a voice vote. After one more procedural vote, the bill goes to the Senate for consideration."

Chris Tomlinson reports for the Associated Press May 11, 2011.

Thursday, May 12, 2011