Monday, April 11, 2011

Frac Focus - Better Late than Never?

Chesapeake Energy issued a press release today saying that the company is participating in the Frac Focus Chemical Disclosure Registry program ( Chesapeake is one of 11 industry participants of 24 registered that has started disclosing the components of hydraulic fracturing fluids. Kudos to the companies participating in this program, but I worry that it might be too late in some regards. 
In an effort to stubbornly resist disclosing the chemical makeup of frac fluid, the gas industry lost control of the story.  Their intransigence was viewed as suspicious by the general public and the anti-fracking folks are leading the conversation, which has let to more hyperbole and hysteria.

The big problem is that while the gas industry was playing slow-down in disclosing frac fluid information, the anti-fracking people have shifted their focus slightly to complain about the contents of the water expelled post-fracking (EEEK!!! Radiation!).  Outside of proper containment techniques, there's not much anyone can do about what lies beneath.  This is a bigger issue in the Appalachian region because of their geology, but it just shows what can happen when you don't own up to a story, especially one that you think is overblown.

Will this web site change any minds?  Maybe after more information is added (it is fairly "unpopulated" at this point) people might be able to better understand hydraulic fracturing, but will it be too late to matter?

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