Court hears case on disclosure of secret fracking chemicals

Jan 22, 2013

Several environmental groups went to district court today in Casper to argue that the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission must disclose information about chemicals being used in hydraulic fracturing around the state. Wyoming was the first state to require companies to disclose such information, yet since that law went into effect, the Oil and Gas Commission has granted almost all secrecy requests from companies claiming that some of the chemicals are proprietary information.

A lawyer for environmental firm Earthjustice, Timothy Preso, says industry needs to do more to justify its requests to keep certain chemicals secret.

“They’ve got to offer an explanation that’s specific to the chemical ingredient that’s being discussed about why disclosure of that particular chemical is going to cause them to lose some really advantageous trade secret or commercial information. And they just haven’t done that,” said Preso.   

Preso says that the suit is asking companies to reveal just the chemicals, not the processes or chemical combinations being used. The decision, expected from Judge Catherine Wilking within 60 days, could set a precedent for the implementation of similar rules in other states.