Opponents and supporters of hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, are keeping a close eye on Texas, where the controversial method of injecting high-pressured fluids has been a common practice in leading to a natural-gas boom in the Lone Star State.
Beginning Wednesday, Feb. 1, Texas drilling operators will begin disclosing the chemicals they're using in fracking. This morning's Texas Tribune reports that many environmentalists are equally interested in the amount of water pressure needed to frack each well. The issue becomes doubly complicated because Texas has been crippled by a year-long drought that has emptied reservoirs and reportedly killed as many as half a billion trees.
The most-recent analysis, which is a few years old, indicated that less than 1 percent of the water used statewide went into fracking. But natural-gas exploration has increased dramatically since the numbers were last reviewed. On Feb. 1, gas drillers will need to regularly update Texas regulators on water usage, in addition to any chemicals used in fracking.