In February of this year, the House Energy and Commerce Committee revealed Halliburton and BJ Services, two oil and gas currently operating in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale formation, had used diesel fuel in hydraulic fracturing operations in at least 15 states in from 2005 to 2007. The gas companies would not reveal to the committee where these injections occurred and may have broken the Safe Water Drinking Act laws.

Hydraulic drilling fracking operations inject millions of gallons of water combined with toxic chemical laden compounds to create intense high pressure to break and keep open underground shale rock formations which allows natural gas to be captured. The process is highly controversial with gas industry front groups stating the process is safe while government officials, residents in drilling areas and environmentalists are all increasingly concerned about the negative effects on drinking water supplies along with air and land damage from these other chemical pollutants which result from shale gas drilling operations.

Benzene and toulene, both toxic substances and known cancer causing agents in low concentrations are found in fracking solution compounds.

The Marcellus Shale formation covers almost two thirds of the state of Pennsylvania including more than 36% of the Delaware River Basin which supplies drinking water to millions in the greater Philadelphia area. There are more than 3700 Pennsylvania shale gas drilling permits currently issued to oil and gas companies, mostly to out of state firms. Shale gas formations are also found in Texas and Colorado along with other parts of the country.

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