MOSCOW, May 23 (RIA Novosti), Nikita Alentyev – The bill passed by North Carolina Senate on Thursday criminalizing the disclosure of fracking chemicals is out of line with the public interest, EarthJustice spokesperson told RIA Novosti Friday.
“Any bill that shields basic information about chemicals used by the oil and gas industry does not have the public interest in mind,” Jessica Ennis, Senior Legislative Representative for EarthJustice said, commenting on the North Carolina legislation protecting trade secrets about fluids used to extract oil or gas from wells using fracking.
The rationale for the bill is the protection of chemical components used in hydraulic fracturing as a trade secret of the respective company, whereby only emergency first responders like fire chiefs and doctors to can obtain the chemical information.
The corporate logic is clear, yet there are larger-scale implications at stake, such as the public health, which may be deteriorated by the “secret” fracking components.
“The full impact oil and gas development have on our public health, air, water and lands are still unknown because this industry hides behind a veil of secrecy,” Ennis concluded.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a method of extracting oil or gas by which blasting sand, water and chemicals deep beneath the earth's surface. The controversy around fracking comes from increasing reports on the danger it poses to public health.
North Carolina legislative initiative comes at a time, when no federal regulation for fracking in the US has been devised. The local authorities act on the issue at their own discretion, with Santa Cruz County in California becoming the first county to implement a “permanent” ban on fracking earlier this week.