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Texas forces firms to open up on 'fracking'

For years, the industry in the US has refused to declare what toxic chemicals it uses during fracking, a policy that has bred public mistrust and accusations of pollution

Source:  Copyright 2011, Independent
Date:  June 22, 2011
Byline:  Guy Adams
Original URL: Status ONLINE
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As the spiritual home of big oil, Texas may fairly be seen to be to environmentalism what its official food, chilli con carne, is to vegetarianism.

But that hasn't stopped the state becoming the first corner of America to require energy firms to disclose information about the chemicals they are pumping into the ground in order to release natural gas during the hugely controversial process of "hydraulic fracking".

The Lone Star state's Governor, Rick Perry, quietly signed a law last week which forces gas companies to publish a list of the 600 or so substances they add to a mixture of water and sand during the process. This mixture then gets fired deep underground at high pressure to release deposits of gas locked up in formations of shale and other rocks.

For years, the industry in the US has refused to declare what toxic chemicals it uses during fracking, saying that to do so would amount to revealing trade secrets. But that policy has bred ...

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