Earlier this week the Environmental Protection Agency released new guidelines that set limits on how much diesel fuel can be used in fracking fluids. Oil and gas companies have long resisted giving up the recipe to their secret sauces, because they’d be revealing “trade secrets,” or chemical formulas they consider proprietary. That’s akin to McDonald’s withholding the recipe for the Thousand Island dressing gunk they put on Big Macs –– if the dressing were also laced with carcinogenic chemicals.
Thanks to what’s commonly known as the Hallibuton loophole, hydraulic fracturing is exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act, except when diesel is used in the process. Still, environmental activists see the regulation as a step in the right direction. When the guidelines go into effect later this year, it will be EPA’s first formal regulation of the threats that fracking poses to underground sources of drinking water.
Of course, most oil and gas companies still deny using diesel in their McFrack attack, despite the fact that many companies admitted it to FracFocus.org, a quasi-governmental reporting website.
We may never know the full list of ingredients in the fracking fluid, but Static is confident that it’s not the same stuff McDonald’s uses to flavor its McRib sandwich.
Please drive through.
Drive Like Granny
And while you’re rolling, please ignore the Texas Department of Transportation’s new “Drive to Conditions” promotion. TXDOT’s campaign is designed to prompt drivers to change their driving behavior depending on road conditions such as traffic congestion, construction, and weather. Uh, OK. What next, a promotion reminding drivers to breathe in and out so they don’t pass out from lack of oxygen?
Texas recorded 3,399 traffic fatalities in 2012, a 10.8 percent increase over 2011. And 737 of those deaths occurred in the Metroplex. These sobering statistics prompted the new campaign.
Hey, TXDOT, thanks for being proactive and all, but the biggest danger in icy weather around here comes from overreacting drivers who slam on their brakes at the mere thought of a dime-sized patch of black ice. And how about the motorists who slow to a near stop on I-20 when approaching a bridge, oblivious to the chain reaction it caused for motorists behind them driving at rational speeds? The new campaign, when you cut through the extraneous passages, basically says to slow down and drive safe. Our tax dollars at work.