Assemblywoman Galef Requests Information from Major Fracking Companies on Chemicals Used in Their Drilling Processes

July 30, 2012

Assemblywoman Sandy Galef sent letters to the CEOs of Chesapeake Energy, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Talisman Energy, and Chief Oil and Gas – some of the largest natural gas companies looking to do business in New York State – asking for lists of chemicals that these companies use during hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. Fracking is the process used to extract natural gas from underground by pumping water thousands of feet below the surface under extremely high pressure. This pressurized water cracks subterranean layers of shale rock, releasing any natural gas kept up inside. These letters were written due to concerns expressed by Galef and her constituents at a forum that she held at the Kent Public Library on June 16, 2012. (A copy of letter to the CEO of Chesapeake Energy is attached.)

At this meeting, Galef showed a film she made chronicling her visit in February to Bradford County, Pennsylvania, a place where the production of natural gas is well under way. In this documentary, she interviews both supporters and opponents of fracking to get a firsthand look at the impacts hydraulic fracturing can have. After the screening, she opened the floor to discussion and questions. The most frequent questions raised were: “What chemicals are used in the process?” and “If the chemicals are indeed safe, why has a list not been released to the public?”

To address these concerns, Galef has mailed letters to the CEOs of these companies, asking for lists of chemicals used in their fracking processes. This will ensure that New York State will know in advance if the chemicals used for fracking could have negative impacts for people living in the areas of drilling sites. “It is important that we have a complete understanding of the possible dangers of fracking before we make a decision on what to do about it in New York,” said Galef. “This is such a pertinent issue that we must exercise caution before coming to a verdict that allows fracking in our state.”

A link to the video “Galef Goes to Gasland” is attached below: