A recent lawsuit filed led by the NRDC is asking the courts to force gas companies to disclose fracking fluid trade secrets which are already widely known.
The world of intellectual property rights allows for the protection of trade secrets. These secrets are the stuff of legends. Some claim that only two people in the world know the Coca-Cola formula and they are not allowed to fly at the same time.
Another trade secret of epic proportions is the Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe. They are so secret, they use two separate companies to blend a portion of the spices and then mix it all together at a third facility so that it remains hush. As a southerner and fried-food connoisseur, KFC is not jaw dropping. Their secret blend of 11 herbs and spices is not the Holy Grail, but the fact the company keeps the recipe so secret is the secret to their success.
In Montana, a lawsuit is underway to force oil and gas companies to disclose their trade secret recipes for fracking fluid. Once again, we see another lawsuit backed by environmentalist groups that is aimed at keeping it in the ground. The Montana Environmental Information Center (MEIC) and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) are leading the charge along with a handful of NIMBY’s. The NRDC is dirty enough to warrant an entire navigation search on NaturalGasNow as they continue to be bullish thugs as if they were the modern Goodfellas.
Alpha-Linolenic-Acid, Asparagine, D-Categin, Isoqurctrin, Hyperoside, Ferulic-Acid, Farnesene, Neoxathin, Phosphatidyl-Choline, Reynoutrin, Sinapic-Acid, Caffeic-Acid, Chlorogenic-Acid, P-Hydroxy-Benzoic-Acid, P-Coumaric-Acid, Avicularin, Lutein, Quercitin, Rutin, Ursolic-Acid, Protocatechuic-Acid, and Silver.
No, that is not a list of fracking chemicals; that is the chemical makeup of an apple. If you were to see a jar with these names written in the ingredients, would you eat it? This is how a disclosure will flip. Now, you do not need to be a rocket scientist to think about what makes up the 11 herbs and spices that make the KFC recipe so powerful. These 11 spices are well known, but it is the specific amounts of each that are the key.
We have known for some time the lists of chemicals are highly over played. In fact, they are no more dangerous than what you have under your kitchen sink. We know what is in the fluid, but just like the Colonel, each company has a specific recipe that they have developed. However, this doesn’t stop the NRDC of the MEIC from fighting for this disclosure by saying:
“[Can better] understand the risks fracking operations may pose to property, human health and the environment and take steps to safeguard their water supplies.”
Last July, the groups sued to force disclosure to be part of the drilling application process and be made public 45 days prior to drilling. Some judicial good sense led to the lawsuit being thrown out as “factually erroneous, unsupported and irrational.”
Most of any information that would be needed is available through FracFocus. In fact, the site has a lot of great resources; from finding any one of the 117,600 registered wells to giving a list of chemicals used and their purpose. This is nothing more that needs to be disclosed. The information is all right there, not only for these so-called environmentalist groups to peruse but also the general public.
Is the general public using the information? We don’t know. Probably no more than I bother checking the ingredients of the bleach we use to clean out bathroom, or the dish detergent we use to clean our dishes, or the cleaning solution we use on our eye contacts any one of which, in theory, could be posing a much more dangerous risk to drinking water contamination than fracking. These groups of course claim to be fighting the good fight, but what I see with this lawsuit is nothing more than a stepping-stone to a fear mongering campaign. The proof is in the fact the NRDC, et al has now turned to actually fighting legislation that would provide for disclosure, arguing that it’s not tough enough. It’s never tough enough for them, of course, because they want the issue more than they want disclosure.