My colleague Jay Marks has an interesting story today about the oil and gas industry’s effort to make public the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations.
The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing today about the process, and state officials gave different viewpoints on whether more federal government regulation is needed.
Josh Fox, the director of the movie “Gasland,” a scathing documentary about natural gas drilling and fracking, was at the hearing, and said afterward that the committee should have heard from citizens who had been affected by drilling operations.
Fox confronted David Neslin, director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, after the hearing about a disputed scene in “Gasland” in which a Colorado resident turns on his water faucet and lights the gas coming out of the tap.
Neslin told a senator that the water well in the movie was investigated and that the state agency found biogenic methane gas in a coal bed was the source. But Fox told Neslin that he deliberately left out the fact that a neighbor’s water was found to be contaminated by oil and gas drilling activity. Neslin told Fox that he had been answering a specific question. He said it was true that a neighbor’s water was found to be contaminated by drilling activity but that a specific cause was not determined.
No video link for that confrontation, but here is a link to the testimony of Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Jeff Cloud:
And here’s a link to Sen. Jim Inhofe’s opening statement. Inhofe, R-Tulsa, is the top Republican on the committee.