Energy / Hydraulic Fracturing

ALEC and ExxonMobil push loopholes in fracking chemical disclosure rules

NEW YORK, NY — “Disclosure requirements vary considerably from state to state, as ProPublica recently charted. In many cases, the rules have been limited by a “trade secrets” provision under which companies can claim that a proprietary chemical doesn’t have to be disclosed to regulators or the public.

One apparent proponent of the trade secrets caveat? The American Legislative Exchange Council, better known as ALEC, a nonprofit group that brings together politicians and corporations to draft and promote conservative, business-friendly legislation. ALEC has been in the spotlight recently because of its support of controversial laws like Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” provision.

…The Environmental Protection Agency cannot regulate fracking in order to protect groundwater, because in 2005 Congress exempted fracking from the Safe Drinking Water Act, which controls how industries inject substances underground.

According to ALEC’s blog, the model disclosure legislation is designed to promote ‘responsible resource production’ and ‘aims to preempt the promulgation of duplicative, burdensome federal regulations’ from the EPA, in particular. ALEC has consistently opposed any federal control over fracking. In 2009, the group adopted a ‘Resolution to Retain State Authority Over Hydraulic Fracturing.'”

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