DENVER (AP) – Gov. John Hickenlooper proposed Tuesday that energy companies operating in his state be required to publicly disclose the ingredients of the fluids they inject into the ground to extract more oil and gas, even though he said there is almost no chance the fluids are contaminating water wells.

“It’s almost inconceivable” that so-called fracking fluids affect groundwater because they are released far below the level of the water, Hickenlooper told a Colorado Oil and Gas Association conference in Denver.

Disclosing the contents would help build public trust in the industry, said Hickenlooper, a Democrat and former petroleum geologist.

Fracking involves pumping a high-pressure mix of water and chemicals to crack rock formations deep underground and release oil and gas. The practice has taken on national importance as companies use it in more states.

Texas has a new law that will require energy companies to reveal the makeup of fracking fluids. Pennsylvania plans to measure baseline public health conditions in the northeastern part of the state to help track any future health impact from drilling.

Energy companies resist revealing what is in their fracking fluids, saying the contents are proprietary and disclosing them could hurt their ability to compete. Critics, including environmental groups, say the chemicals could be tainting drinking water.

Tisha Conoly Schuller, president and CEO of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, said the industry is “open to working with the administration” on disclosure rules.

Hickenlooper said fracking disclosure rules for Colorado would be written and enforced by the state Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which regulates the energy industry in Colorado.

The energy industry has been harshly critical of 2008 rules imposed by the nine-member commission, saying they are among the most restrictive regulations in the nation.

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Last week, Hickenlooper nominated four new members. Industry groups reacted favorably to his choices, saying the new members had technical expertise and industry experience and would stabilize the panel. Environmental groups were critical, calling some of the nominees a gift to the industry.

The nominees must be approved by the state Senate. They include two energy company executives, the chairman of Colorado’s Regional Air Quality Council and the mayor of Lupton, a town of 7,800 in Weld County, where oil and gas drilling has been active in recent months.

Frank Smith of the Western Colorado Congress, an environmental group, welcomed Hickenlooper’s proposal but said the rules need teeth and shouldn’t allow any exemptions for proprietary ingredients. That would leave too large an information gap for regulators and water experts, he said.

He also suggested disclosure rules should have been imposed sooner.

“It’s about time,” he said. “Colorado has about 43,000 oil and gas wells.” He added that new wells will likely be drilled in the vicinity of Denver, Colorado’s largest population center.

Hickenlooper also proposed a voluntary program to test groundwater around oil and gas wells before and after drilling to check for signs of contamination.

The water would be tested by a third-party laboratory and the results would be turned over to the state, which would compile a database with the data.

Conoly Schuller said the database would be open to the public.

Asked if the public would be skeptical of the results after his public statement that fracking contamination is unlikely, the governor said no.

“Science is science,” he said.

He said he wants to hold the industry to high environmental standards while reducing red tape.

Hickenlooper criticized some news media reporting that suggested a link between fracking and groundwater contamination. He said some reports have distorted the facts, taken facts out of context and engaged in hyperbole.

“Being transparent (about fracking fluids) would clearly demonstrate beyond any doubt that this doesn’t happen,” he said.

– By Dan Elliott, Associated Press

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (5)
  1. Judy Spady says:

    The posting by Thomas Maddox about Agenda 21 is absolutely dead on!! Also, mtnman7 is correct b/c it is definitely a conspiracy…..but it isn’t a ‘theory’. Do your homework and learn the truth. Isn’t that we all should be seeking to make our decisions? Don’t you want to understand when you are being framed? Come on! I would think you would want to know the truth. This isn’t a left/right issue. If you care about America and our western freedoms, then you should at least educate yourselves on what happens when the lies of the environment are used. This goes back to Lenin/Stalin and it is definitely the road to communism. If you care about our nation, our liberties, and remaining free than you should be worried. Check out or and find out the truth! Stop being ‘sheeple’ and use your heads! The Truth HAS NO AGENDA!!!

  2. Rena Kaplowitz says:

    Fracking is a dangerous and unregulated activity. We need to protect water and air resources so that the people and animals (domestic and wild) can continue to exist in the West and other areas that are being “developed” by oil and gas interests. Evaporating produced water in open pits rather than closed loop systems is dangerous and leads to air, ground, and water pollution. Leaks can contaminate ground water and the aquifers we get our clean drinking water from. Let’s not allow the Halliburton clause to keep the industry from following safe, accepted best practices the rest of us adhere to.

  3. Dee says:

    ” even though he believes there is almost no chance the fluids are contaminating water wells”

    Give me a break. Better yet, give us the truth. The fracking fluids are poisoning the water–the west’s most precious resource. Better a horse and buggy and clean air and water than so called modernization and no clean and water.


    1. mtnman7 says:

      Dee, I guess even the best evidence isnt good enough when you can cling to a conspiracy. Where’s your evidence of ground water contamination?

  4. Thomas Maddox says:

    Welcome to Agenda 21’s `Walkability’

    – Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    Just when you thought you might sleep better at night, with only worries about feeding your family, keeping your job and home in a terrible economy, the debt ceiling just raised to $2.8 trillion, the United Nation’s “Sustainability” Agenda 21 marches on with the help of a myriad of private and governmental organizations nationwide dedicated to the “fundamental change” of America as we know it.

    The HUD Secretary just announced on July 28, 2011 the availability of $95 million to support “sustainable local initiatives” through the fiscal year 2011 Regional Planning and Community Challenge Planning Grant Programs. It seems like a good idea except that it is dedicated to “sustainable communities,” another pet word of United Nations Agenda 21. It is a good idea if you want to live in housing tenements with no cars while the streets will be replaced by trains.

    HUD’s grant money places emphasis on land use, transportation, infrastructure with special priority on arts, culture, philanthropy, and innovative ideas. I had no idea that HUD’s mission included arts and philanthropy.

    HUD’s Group 1 Funds “can be used to support the preparation of Regional Plans for “sustainable development.”

    HUD’s Group 2 Funds “can be used to support efforts to modify existing plans so that they are in accordance with the Partnership for Sustainable Communities’ six Livability Principles.” Do you have any idea what these six Livability Principles are? Has Congress been consulted? Have we been asked to vote on these principles? Do we no longer have a voice? I do not recall the American people being asked if they want to live in Sustainable Communities. Is our government no longer “for the people and by the people?”

    I do know that in 1992, President George H. Bush signed in Rio de Janeiro, United Nation’s Agenda 21, binding us to third world dictatorships’ agendas of impoverishing the United States and bringing it in line with the rest of the third world, erasing borders and our Constitution in the name of environmental protection, and taking private and productive farmland and returning it to wilderness.

    The Community Challenge Planning grant program “will be competitively awarded to state, local and tribal governments for efforts such as amending or replacing local master plans, zoning and building codes to promote mixed-use development, building more affordable housing, and the rehabilitation of older buildings and structures with the goal of promoting sustainability at the local and neighborhood levels. Who would turn down free money? It sounds like a good idea; however, what is mixed-used development?

    Mixed-use development is part of Agenda 21’s plan for walkability, taking people out of their cars, placing them in high-rise complexes where their jobs and businesses will be on the ground floors and their homes will be above. No more driving, no need for parking garages, mass transit use if available, or just plain moving only within walking or biking distance, while giving the land back to its intended wilderness.
    Absurd need of returning land to wilderness

    To put this absurd need of returning land to wilderness into proper perspective, consider that 77-84 percent of Americans live on 3 percent of United States’ land mass. Sixteen percent of Americans live in rural areas. Ninety-five percent of America’s land is rural.

    Three million dollars of this HUD grant money will be awarded to jurisdictions with populations fewer than 50,000 via the Preferred Sustainability Status (PSS).

    The HUD program is in its second year of existence, was built on the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, and was launched by President Obama in June 2009 between HUD, the Department of Transportation, and EPA “to provide more sustainable housing and transportation choices for families and lay the foundation for a 21st century economy.”
    Americans think of COMMUNISM and LOSS OF FREEDOM when you hear and read the word sustainable

    What kind of economy is a “21st century economy?” I thought we had plenty of transportation choices in a free market capitalist society that “we the people” prefer. All Americans should think of COMMUNISM and LOSS OF FREEDOM when they hear and read the word sustainable in any sentence.

    A website was launched last month to promote the forced “fundamental change” of our society by the scary Partnership, community by community, Last year 80 communities around the country have already used grant money for “sustainable communities’ future.”

    Another website,, has ample information and governmental links to sustainability and Agenda 21.

    On June 29, 2011, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) announced its second annual GreenGov Symposium which will take place on October 31-November 2, 2011 in D.C. Leaders from government, private sector, non-profits, and academia will get together to discuss job creation, growing clean energy, and curb pollution. I know that governments never create jobs, just government bureaucracies. Will this new clean energy meet the needs of our huge economy? Since it is so much more expensive than fossil fuels energy, I seriously doubt it.

    The GreenGov Symposium will be sponsored by White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO). Nancy Sutley, chair of CEQ said, “GreenGov Symposium will help agencies deliver on President Obama’s commitment to save money and reduce waste by increasing energy efficiency and reducing harmful pollution through sustainable practices in government operations.” Agenda 21 marches on.

    President Obama signed Executive Order 13514 in October 2009 to support the growth of 21st century clean energy economy. At the 2011 symposium, participants “will share sustainability challenges and best practices, and discuss cutting-edge approaches to achieving the Federal performance goals set by President Obama.”

    Hosted by George Mason University, the first GreenGov Symposium of October 2010 had “1,400 representatives from across all levels of government, the private sector and the non-profit community to shape the future of Federal Government sustainability.”

    Program topics included sustainability solutions on clean energy, climate and adaptation, greening the supply chain, sustainable buildings, sustainable communities, water, zero waste, etc.

    The White House Committee on Environmental Quality (CEQ) provided keynote speakers at last year’s GreenGov Symposium held at George Mason University:

    Steven Chu, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy that provides/produces no energy except pure research
    Tom Vilsack, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Janine Benyus, President of the Biomimicry Institute

    I was curious about the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) since global warming has been debunked and they have now changed their name to climate change. This organization has steep joining fees and a very interesting Advisory Board with ties to U.N. Agenda 21 organizations and governing bodies:

    EPA staff
    AIG Sustainability Steering Committee (who knew that an insurance giant had a sustainability agenda?)
    U.N. Director of Partnership Development for Energy and Climate Sustainable Development
    Earth Institute at Columbia University Director
    Seattle Climate Partnership Director
    Chairman of the Science Advisory Council for the International SeaKeepers Society (a 501c3 non-profit)
    Illinois EPA chair
    California Air Resources Board Executive Officer
    American Carbon Registry Director
    Applied Materials, Inc. Senior Director for Sustainability
    VP of Trucost (built the world’s most extensive database of over 700 emissions and pollutants of over 4,500 public companies around the world)
    USA VP of Carbon Disclosure Project
    Sustainability Action and Education Chair
    California’s Secretary for EPA
    Carbon Disclosure New York
    Margery Moore, designer, developer, and implementer of environmental compliance, and sustainability for NGO’s, governments, and corporations (NGOs are non-government organizations)

    Fifty percent of private land in the country is slated to be conserved or protected—that may include your land, your home, or your farm

    For those citizens who are non-believers or sitting on the fence, Agenda 21 has been around since 1992 but the last two years have witnessed its acceleration: No Child Left Inside Act of Maryland (forcing environmental literacy in order to graduate from high school), White House Rural Council, Codex Alimentarius, smart growth plans, social engineering, sustainable development, sustainable rural communities, ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives), Watershed Protection Plans, Habitat Conservation Plans, County Parks and Open Space Plans, all implemented without Congressional approval. Fifty percent of private land in the country is slated to be conserved or protected—that may include your land, your home, or your farm.

    When are Americans going to wake up that ignorant or purposefully Marxist state and local representatives paid by the United Nations umbrella of Agenda 21 are going to “fundamentally change America” and the way we live without Congressional approval, without our approval? It is law at all federal levels through executive orders that are forcing Agenda 21 at the national level. Local and state politicians cannot enforce ICLEI’s agenda, they are violating our Constitution.

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