Judge Sides With State, Industry in Fracking Suit
by K2 News Desk, firstname.lastname@example.org
A Natrona County District Court judge has sided with the state and the oil and gas industry in a ruling over hydraulic fracturing. Judge Catherine Wilking ruled that companies using the drilling technique do not have to disclose their chemical formulas to the public.
Environmental groups had sued the state, arguing that the public needs to know what chemicals companies are pumping into the ground. Wilking, however, ruled that the state's oil and gas supervisor was correct to withhold the ingredient lists as trade secrets.
Attorneys for both the state and oil-company Halliburton successfully argued that competing companies could reverse-engineer fracking fluid make-ups from those disclosures.
Governor Mead expressed pleasure with Wilking's decision. "This decision recognizes the importance of a state-based approach to regulating hydraulic fracturing - one that balances this important method for producing energy with environmental protection," said Mead in a media release.
Wyoming law requires that companies provide the chemical contents to the state, but protects those lists from being made public.