Energy policy — oil and gas: Today Governor Hickenlooper told attendees at the Colorado Oil and Gas Association annual meeting to expect a rule requiring fracking rule disclosures by the end of the year

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From the Denver Business Journal (Cathy Proctor):

“Everyone in this room understands that hydraulic fracturing doesn’t connect to groundwater, that it’s almost inconceivable that groundwater will be contaminated,” said Hickenlooper, who worked as a petroleum geologist in Colorado in the 1980s. “But the industry needs to be transparent. It needs to demonstrate, beyond a doubt, that this doesn’t happen. [Transparency] creates a tremendous show of good faith and shows that the industry cares,” he said…

Many oil and gas companies voluntarily have disclosed the contents of frack fluid via http://www.fracfocus.org, a website sponsored by the Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission. The website, which allows companies to redact information deemed proprietary, went live on April 11. As of Tuesday, the website listed information on 500 Colorado wells drilled since Jan. 1…

But Hickenlooper said he envisions a new Colorado rule similar to those in Texas and Wyoming.

• Texas’s law, passed in June, requires companies to post lists of chemicals used in fracking for all wells drilled in the state via the fracfocus.org website. The law allows exemptions from the list for chemicals deemed “trade secrets,” but the landowner where the well is drilled, an adjacent landowner or a state agency can appeal the exemption.

• Wyoming’s law, passed in 2010, requires companies to disclose the contents of fracking fluid, and that the information be made available to the public, with some exemptions for proprietary information.

“We need to make it easier for the broad population to trust us,” Hickenlooper told oil and gas executives, adding that “hopefully, we’ll have a disclosure ruled worked out through the COGCC by the end of the year.”

More coverage from the Associated Press via Fuel Fix:

Hickenlooper also proposed a voluntary program to test groundwater around oil and gas wells before and after drilling to check for signs of contamination. He said that testing would be paid for by the industry but performed by a third party. Results would be recorded by the state health department.

More oil and gas coverage here and here.

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