Hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, is a controversial method used to extract natural gas and oil from shale rock formations. It is controversial because it can cause big environmental problems, including poisoning local water wells. A new report looks at companies that use fracking.
The joint report by As You Sow and investment advisory firm Boston Common Asset Management reviewed the 30 biggest publicly traded producers of oil and gas in North America. What they found is that 21 of the 30 companies disclosed that they collect reports of close calls that did not result in leaks, spills, injuries, or any environmental harm.
Not everything they found is encouraging. Seventeen companies stated that their public disclosures of chemicals used for fracking do not include chemicals protected by trade secrecy claims. Sixteen companies discussed their practices for ensuring the operational integrity of their wells, while only 15 companies reported the percentage of the wastewater recycled and reused for fracturing more wells. Just one company disclosed its post-drilling monitoring practices, and only three companies disclosed their pre-drilling monitoring practices.