The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Use of Secret Chemicals Runs Rampant in Fracking Industry, New Analysis Shows
A recent investigation by EnergyWire found that when companies provide information on the chemicals they use to frack wells, most of the time they keep at least one chemical secret. Sixty-five percent of disclosures made by oil and gas companies leave out information about one or more fracking chemicals that the company claims to be confidential, according to the EnergyWire article.
Many of the chemicals that fracking companies admit to using are toxic, carcinogenic, combustible or all of the above. But those are just the chemicals we know about. Unfortunately, we currently have no way of knowing the risks posed by the chemicals they are keeping to themselves. The public deserves to know about the chemicals that are being trucked through their neighborhoods, stored near their homes and schools and injected at high pressure near their drinking water sources. But unfortunately, due to the Halliburton Loophole—a Bush/Cheney Energy bill that exempts natural gas drilling from the Safe Drinking Water Act—companies are exempt from disclosing the chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing.
Keep in mind that the article only looks at the wells where the companies have disclosed chemicals in the first place. There are many more wells where we know nothing about what’s being used. In some states, disclosure is entirely voluntary and it is left to companies to decide whether to disclose any of the chemicals they use. Fourteen states require at least some disclosure of fracking chemicals. But an NRDC analysis released in July found that, while there was fracking in at least 29 states, only two states require companies to provide factual justification to keep a chemical secret (see map below). Most states leave it up to the company to decide if a chemical should be kept confidential. That’s a loophole big enough to drive a truck through—a truck full of fracking chemicals.
Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Dan Gray
- Research shows that 16 weeks of a vegan diet can boost the gut microbiome, helping with weight loss and overall health.
- A healthy microbiome is a diverse microbiome. A plant-based diet is the best way to achieve this.
- It isn't necessary to opt for a strictly vegan diet, but it's beneficial to limit meat intake.
New research shows that following a vegan diet for about 4 months can boost your gut microbiome. In turn, that can lead to improvements in body weight and blood sugar management.
By Jeff Turrentine
Nearly 20 years have passed since the journalist Malcolm Gladwell popularized the term tipping point, in his best-selling book of the same name. The phrase denotes the moment that a certain idea, behavior, or practice catches on exponentially and gains widespread currency throughout a culture. Having transcended its roots in sociological theory, the tipping point is now part of our everyday vernacular. We use it in scientific contexts to describe, for instance, the climatological point of no return that we'll hit if we allow average global temperatures to rise more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. But we also use it to describe everything from resistance movements to the disenchantment of hockey fans when their team is on a losing streak.
By Mark Mancini
On Aug. 18, Iceland held a funeral for the first glacier lost to climate change. The deceased party was Okjökull, a historic body of ice that covered 14.6 square miles (38 square kilometers) in the Icelandic Highlands at the turn of the 20th century. But its glory days are long gone. In 2014, having dwindled to less than 1/15 its former size, Okjökull lost its status as an official glacier.
By Alex Schwartz
Among the many vendors at the Logan Square Farmers Market on Aug. 18 sat three young people peddling neither organic vegetables, gourmet cheese nor handmade crafts. Instead, they offered liberation from capitalism.
I’m a Psychotherapist – Here’s What I’ve Learned From Listening to Children Talk About Climate Change
By Caroline Hickman
Eco-anxiety is likely to affect more and more people as the climate destabilizes. Already, studies have found that 45 percent of children suffer lasting depression after surviving extreme weather and natural disasters. Some of that emotional turmoil must stem from confusion — why aren't adults doing more to stop climate change?