CINCINNATI — “How fitting that the letter ‘Fracking industry lies about dangers,’ decrying the misinformation from the oil and gas industry about fracking, should appear just below Walter Williams column about what he calls ‘the first fundamental law of demand’ (‘Tyrants use human nature for benefits’ July 23). As Williams points out, the lower the cost of an action, the more incentive people have to act. This principle plays out with fracking because the Halliburton loophole, which allowed the industry to ignore managing their toxic waste in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act and other laws designed to protect public health and the environment, greatly reduced the cost of fracking.
The industry has further secured their exceptionalism in Ohio recently, by inserting provisions in a new law allowing them to claim as many chemicals as they wish as trade secrets. They are not required to disclose trade secret chemicals even to the agency regulating them. Under the law, medical professionals are supposed to have access to this information in order to treat victims of chemical exposure, but there is no explanation of how this might happen beyond the suggestion that they contact the person who claimed the trade secret. Who is that, the driller? The chemical’s manufacturer? Even supposing doctors do receive the information they need to diagnose and treat one victim, the law says they can t share it, even to prevent harm to others. This secrecy only benefits the industry and at a terrible cost. Shame on our lawmakers for going along with this travesty.”
— Melissa English, Development Director, Ohio Citizen Action