Natural gas company workers plan to lobby lawmakers today on the safety of drilling techniques amid controversy over exploration for the fuel.

Eighteen workers from six states will visit House and Senate members in an event organized by industry influence group American Petroleum Institute. It started yesterday and continues today. Workers yesterday talked to the White House's Council on Environmental Quality.

"If the natural gas industry is truly committed to the safe production of natural gas, they should be working with Congress to close the regulatory loopholes the industry currently enjoys," said Deb Nardone, senior campaign representative for the Sierra Club. "Congress needs to put an end to the exemptions and exceptions given to the gas industry, privileges that no other industry receive."

Congress, Nardone added, should require natural gas companies to disclose fully the chemicals they use for extraction.

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