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Cheney's Halliburton loophole
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times

New York Times, November 3, 2009
Posted: November 19th, 2009

Among the many dubious provisions in the 2005 energy bill was one dubbed the Halliburton loophole, which was inserted at the behest of you guessed it then-Vice President Dick Cheney, a former chief executive of Halliburton. It stripped the Environmental Protection Agency of its authority to regulate a drilling process called hydraulic fracturing [commonly referred to as "fracking"]. Invented by Halliburton in the 1940s, it involves injecting a mixture of water, sand and chemicals, some of them toxic, into underground rock formations to blast them open and release natural gas. Hydraulic fracturing has been implicated in a growing number of water pollution cases across the country. It has become especially controversial in New York, where regulators are eager to clear the way for drilling in the New York City watershed, potentially imperiling the citys water supply. Congress last week approved a bill that asks the E.P.A. to conduct a new study on the risks of hydraulic fracturing. An agency study in 2004 whitewashed the industry and was dismissed by experts as superficial and politically motivated. This time Congress is demanding a transparent, peer-reviewed process. Cumbersomely named the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act, it would close the loophole and restore the E.P.A.s rightful authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing. It would also require the oil and gas industry to disclose the chemicals they use.

Note: Energy-development corporations using the fracking process will not disclose the chemicals they inject into the subsurface because of the chemicals' high toxicity when they penetrate groundwater supplies. For many more examples from reliable sources of corporate and government secrecy, click here.

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