Fracking – Above the Law

by L J Furman, MBA on March 19, 2013

in Connecting the Dots, Hydraulic Fracturing

Former Vice President & former CEO of Halliburton, Richard B. Cheney

Former Vice President & former CEO of Halliburton, Richard B. Cheney

Energy From Shale says,

“Spent or used fracturing fluids are normally recovered at the initial stage of well production and recycled in a closed system for future use or disposed of under regulation, either by surface discharge where authorized under the Clean Water Act or by injection into Class II wells

as authorized under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Regulation may also allow recovered fracturing fluids to be disposed of at appropriate commercial facilities. Not all fracturing fluid returns to the surface. Over the life of the well, some is left behind and confined by thousands of feet of rock layers.”

This is a very misleading statement, given that Congress, in 2005, passed the “Halliburton Rule,” which exempted Fracking from regulation by the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

As noted by the Environmental Defense Center, here, the Sierra Club, here, and Source Watch, here, Fracking is actually exempt from Eight (8) major federal regulations.

  1. The Clean Water Act , due to the “Halliburton loophole” pushed through by former Vice-President/former Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney, exempting corporations from revealing the chemicals used in fracking fluid;
  2. The Safe Drinking Water Act, also due  to the “Halliburton loophole”.
  3. The Toxic Release Inventory under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.
  4. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which exempts fracking from federal regulations pertaining to hazardous waste;
  5. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act;
  6. The Clean Air Act,
  7. The National Environmental Policy Act; and
  8. The Superfund law, which requires that polluters remediate for carcinogens like benzene released into the environment, except if they come from oil or gas;

As noted here, Bill McKibben, of 350.org, R. P. Siegel, who co-wrote Vapor Trails and writes for Triple Pundit, Al Gore, and many others, including myself, who think about global warming and climate change and see the challenges presented by our need for energy and the potential of sustainable energy suggest that it would be better to use wind, solar, geothermal, and other fuel free systems, and to manufacture fuel from sewage, garbage, agricultural waste and algae than to dig fossil fuels – and heavy metals – out of the ground – and in so doing severely damage the biosphere.

But I think McKibben, Siegel, Gore, and Cheney would agree with me that “Fracking” is aptly named.

Part 3 in a Series.

  1. L. Furman, 3/12/13, Hydro Fracturing, aka Fracking, Dirty & Ugly, but What Choice do we Have?
  2. L. Furman, 3/14/13, Fracking,Best Practices versus Current Practice
  3. L. Furman, 3/18/13, Fracking – Above the Law

An analyst with Popular Logistics, Lawrence J. Furman holds a Bachelor’s in Biology, and an MBA in “Managing for Sustainability” from Marlboro College, Vermont. He also has experience in information technology. He can be reached at ‘L Furman 97” at G Mail.

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