Energy In Depth's Mike:
One of the most pervasive claims made about shale development has to do with disclosure — namely, that the industry is withholding information from medical professionals about additives used during hydraulic fracturing. This has been advanced by the likes of Ohio Citizens Action, a vocal anti-development group, as well as a handful of other individuals that are actively trying to confuse the public about this issue.
More specifically, these folks claim that doctors do not have adequate access to the information needed to evaluate and treat patients if an accident were to happen on or near a well pad site. Their goal, of course, is to spread fear, doubt, and misinformation about something very technical and vast in its scope. In this case they count on the fact that few in the general public have read, in its entirety, the 175-page document known as Senate Bill 315 that covers topics like chemical disclosure.
Against that backdrop, it’s worth noting what the leadership of The Ohio State Medical Association recently did: they sent a letter to the members of the Ohio General Assembly saying, essentially, that such claims are garbage.
Senate Bill 315, which was passed in 2012, clearly spells out that first responders and other medical professionals have total access to additives used during the hydraulic fracturing process. In fact, Ohio has always been a full disclosure state, through the fracturing ticket and fracturing chart associated with each individual producing oil and gas well in Ohio. Senate Bill 315 expanded the disclosure requirements. Additionally, the industry is using FracFocus to share with anyone interested what chemicals are used to produce natural gas in our state, as well as the other 33 producing states in the country.
The letter from OSMA, which represents over 20,000 Ohio physicians, residents, medical students, and practice managers, explained that they are well aware of the fact that, as doctors and medical professionals, they have full access to a list of additives used during the hydraulic fracturing process.