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Industry shouldn’t call the shots

Published: Mon, May 20, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Charlotte Observer: We’re disturbed that a new rule set for approval by the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission requiring some disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing was withdrawn at the request of industry giant Halliburton. Fracking could be economically beneficially here if done right, but the recent move does not fit that standard.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported that the state commission, created by the legislature last year, was ready to vote on the new rule, The Associated Press reported. The standard dictates which chemicals operators have to publicly disclose when drilling natural gas wells.

But some commissioners were rightly upset when they realized the rule was abruptly pulled from their agenda so that it could be redone by staff at the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The commission had approved the standard in committee.

Halliburton says it already discloses many of the chemicals it uses in fracking. But if the North Carolina commission wants more disclosure, it’s free to ask for that, and not have Halliburton dictate policy.

In Ohio, where fracking is well regulated, it’s been a boon for the state. The same might hold true here as well, as long as the fracking industry doesn’t call the shots.

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