Environmental and landowner groups are celebrating after the Wyoming Supreme Court found a lower court had ruled in error regarding disclosure of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing or fracking.
The University of Wyoming is getting a major donation for its new energy and engineering research complex. Halliburton is giving $2 million to be applied towards a 'high bay' research facility.
The facility's size will allow for large scale experiments. Halliburton is also giving UW an additional $1 million for research into unconventional oil and gas reservoirs. The gift will be matched by the state. Governor Matt Mead says it was an exciting discussion with Halliburton.
The Wyoming Supreme Court heard a case Wednesday challenging the state’s process for exempting fracking chemicals from public disclosure. Wyoming was the first state in the nation to adopt a disclosure law, but it included what some say is a massive loophole: companies can petition for what’s called a trade secret exemption. They’ve done that more than a hundred times since the law went into effect in 2010.
The oil and gas industry is trying to ease environmental concerns by developing nontoxic fluids for hydraulic fracturing.
But it's not clear whether the fluids will be widely embraced by drilling companies.
Fracking has made it possible to tap into energy reserves across the nation but also has raised concerns about pollution, since large volumes of water along with sand and hazardous chemicals are injected underground to free the oil and gas from rock.