As you’re reading this, oil and gas companies in 35 states in the US are injecting millions of gallons of chemicals deep into the ground during hydraulic fracturing operations (“fracking”). Similar activities have started in EU, too.
Of the fracking chemicals that scientists have been allowed to study, one in ten are hazardous to humans. Why can’t scientist study all the chemicals used in fracking? Because the oil and gas industry classifies them as “trade secrets.”
People have a right to know what chemicals are possibly leaking into our water supplies, and scientists should be given access to the identity of all fracking chemicals. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering a new rule—but who knows if it will happen.
When pundits and politicians go hand in hand with corporations to put a muzzle on scientists, scientists alone can do little to publicly defend their work and reputations. Why? Because science can’t flourish if scientists are afraid to speak out—especially on “hot button” issues like global warming.