Colorado frackers paying tiny fines for keeping chemicals secret
One of the few things that frackers need to do when they operate in fracker-friendly Colorado is post information about some of the chemicals they pump into the ground. But even that seems too hard for the industry.
Following press reports that Colorado frackers were failing to report their chemicals as required on the FracFocus website, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission warned companies it would begin actively enforcing its rules in the summer.
Since then, 11 companies have been cited for failing to disclose their chemicals on the website. From EnergyWire:
Seven of the companies have agreed to settle the cases with $1,000 fines, and commission staff is still negotiating with one of the companies. Two cases have been continued to December, and one case, against Marathon Oil Corp., has been set for a contested hearing at the commission’s Oct. 28 meeting in the eastern Colorado city of Limon. …
Bruce Baizel, director of Earthworks’ Oil & Gas Accountability Project, said he’s glad to see the state following through on its promise of more diligent enforcement.
But he said it showed that industry groups “should be spending more on educating members about compliance with regulatory requirements and less on fighting residents over drilling in backyards.”
So frackers in Colorado have paid a total of $7,000 in fines so far. Meanwhile, they’ve spent $606,000 fighting anti-fracking ballot initiatives in four Colorado cities.