One of the country’s largest suppliers of hydraulic fracturing chemicals says going forward, it will fully disclose the ingredients that make up those chemicals and their maximum concentrations in the frac fluid.
Nine states currently require disclosure of the chemicals used in fracking, but in most of those states, companies can petition for a 'trade secret’ exemption. Wyoming’s Oil and Gas Commission has granted exemptions more than a hundred times, a majority of those requested. Baker Hughes is responsible for more than two dozen of those, but now says it’s figured out how to publish the chemicals in a way that won’t reveal the secret formulas used to make them. The company says it wants to increase public trust, among other thing. Shannon Anderson of the Powder River Basin Resource Council says disclosure will do just that.
“It’s better to get the information out there, and that way we can have a meaningful conversation about impacts,” Amderson says.
In an email, a Baker Hughes spokesperson writes that the company also hopes disclosure will ease the burden on regulatory agencies by eliminating the work necessary to process trade secret petitions.
It’s not clear how or if Baker Hughes’ decision might impact an ongoing Wyoming court case about the trade secret exemptions.