Don't Frack Up Our Water (photo: ProgressOhio/flickr)

In what is a truly pathetic and what can only be seen as a deeply corrupt move by the Obama administration, companies who engage in hydraulic fracturing will only need to disclose what chemicals they use after the well has been drilled. From the New York Times:

But in a significant concession to the oil industry, companies would have to reveal the composition of fluids only after the drilling of a well is completed, not before, a sharp change from the government’s original proposal, which would have required disclosure of the chemicals 30 days before a well could be started.

The weakening of the rule followed a series of meetings at the White House after the original regulation was proposed in February. Lobbyists representing oil industry trade associations and individual major producers like ExxonMobil, XTO Energy, Apache, Samson Resources and Anadarko Petroleum met with officials of the Office of Management and Budget, who reworked the rule to address industry concerns about overlapping state regulations and the cost of compliance.

The whole point of disclosure is to protect people from potential dangers, to stop something bad from happening before it happens. If you know what the chemicals are beforehand you can at least theoretically try to address concerns before something irreversible occurs.

If the data is only released after the well is drilled, it is too late. Any possible damage is already done. Once the chemicals have already been pumped into the ground there is no way to ever get all of them back out. At that point the die is cast.

This is disturbingly pathetic. The Obama’s administration decided to side with big oil over the American people and basic common sense. The people who made this decision should be ashamed of themselves.