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The two lawmakers in Colorado who are spearheading the efforts to clean up the controversial natural gas drilling method called hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, lauded Thursday the findings made by a federal advisory panel. The panel is urging for greater transparency, as well as disclosure of the chemicals that are being used in fracking. The lawmakers, however, warned that so much more still needs to be done.
U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, a Democrat from Boulder, said, “The subcommittee’s recommendations and its acknowledgement that changes need to be made are certainly a step in the right direction.”
But along with this statement, Rep. Polis also warned that, “…until legal shortcomings are fixed and voluntary recommendations become actual requirements, communities will remain without real assurance that their air, water and health are adequately protected.”
The report, which was released Thursday by the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board Shale Gas Production Subcommittee, called for a mandatory disclosure of the chemicals that are injected deep into natural gas deposits. These chemicals are used along with water and sand to break rock formations to free up the trapped natural gas within.
Critics have repeatedly pointed out that fracking can potentially lead to groundwater contamination. However, industry officials refuted this claim and reiterated their stand that fracking is a safe process and that the chemicals they use must be kept secret for proprietary reasons.
The industry was also urged by the advisory panel to move in the direction of best environmental practices and to improve other drilling operation aspects that have been confirmed to occasionally cause groundwater contamination.