May 4, 2012
Setting up another battleground with the energy industry — as well as Republicans ahead of the presidential election — the Obama administration on Friday proposed requiring that drillers on federal lands publicly list what chemicals they use in a technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
“This administration’s energy strategy is an all-out effort to boost American production of every available source of energy,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement. “As we continue to offer millions of acres of America’s public lands for oil and gas development, it is critical that the public have full confidence that the right safety and environmental protections are in place.”
The process has led to a boom in new natural gas resources, but has been controversial because it injects water, sand and chemicals deep underground to extract the gas from rock formations. Environmentalists, backed by some homeowners in areas being drilled, fear those chemicals will poison underground water sources.