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Perry Touts Environmentally Friendly Energy Production

Governor Perry at lecturn, next to natural gas powered green Peterbilt truck
Governor Perry at lecturn, next to natural gas powered green Peterbilt truck

By Bill Zeeble, KERA News

Dallas, TX – Governor Rick Perry called Texas an environmentally friendly oil and gas production leader this afternoon in Denton. At truck-maker Peterbilt, he ceremonially signed three energy-related bills into law. KERA's Bill Zeeble reports one is the first in the nation to disclose hydraulic fracturing chemicals.

Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," allows drillers in the Barnett Shale and elsewhere to release huge amounts of previously sealed oil and natural gas deep underground. But fracking uses water and chemicals, some of which are toxic. They could hurt people and pollute water. Representative Bill Keffer co-authored the bill disclosing fracking chemicals. Drillers wanting to maintain secrecy will have to make their case.

Keffer: If they are challenged by the landowner they have to go prove it is truly a trade secret. They have 7 or 8 points that you have to fit to be held as a trade secret. It's there for that protection, but I think as we move along it'll be less of an issue.

Final wording of the proposed rule to implement the law is being worked out. The Rail Road Commission says it will be ready for public comment next month. Governor Perry also ceremonially signed laws that help pay for new or retrofitted natural gas engines on big haul trucks, and subsidizes natural gas filling stations. Another will helps fund additional air monitoring in the Barnett Shale. When it was over, Perry dashed from the press conference so fast no reporters could ask any questions, whether on the energy laws, or his upcoming Day of Prayer rally in Houston.

Email Bill Zeeble