North Carolina Governor Signs Bill Banning Disclosure of Fracking Chemicals

Justin King | The Anti-Media

In an amazing attempt to shut off access to information, the North Carolina legislature has passed a law making disclosing the contents of fracking fluids a crime. The Orwellian nature of the law was explained away by the media which obediently argued that it was designed to protect “trade secrets.” There is no similar law protecting any other industry’s trade secrets in North Carolina. The Energy Modernization Act, which included the provision, was signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory on June 4th. Many watchdog groups believe Governor McCory is bought and paid for by big energy companies. Indeed there is a Department of Justice probe into McCory’s fundraising activities in relation to industry giant Duke Energy. Image credit: www_ukberri_com

The chemicals in fracking fluids are pumped into the ground to force natural gas upward. The fluids are left in the ground to seep into groundwater and contaminate drinking water.

Unfortunately for those that want to cut off American citizens’ access to information, North Carolina’s law to protect fracking companies only applies within North Carolina. If a journalist in Florida decided to publish the contents of fracking fluids, North Carolina’s law would be completely useless and the journalist would not be risking a year in jail even though the information is available via the internet to those inside North Carolina.

While the United States has generally allowed fracking companies to keep the contents of the fluids being pumped into America’s drinking water a secret, other nations have not been so cooperative with the industry. Fact sheets are available from ExxonMobil’s activities in Poland, and another compiled listing of fracking fluid chemicals is available here.

Selected chemicals used in fracking:

Hyrdochloric Acid: Described by the Environmental Protection Agency as “corrosive to the eyes, skin, and mucous membranes.”

Isopropanol: Described by National Institutes of Health as “a type of nondrinking alcohol.”

Formaldehyde: The National Cancer Institute reports links to several cancers including leukemia. Overexposure to it can be immediately fatal.

Methanol: “Can cause metabolic acidosis, neurologic sequelae, and even death,” according to Medscape.com.

2-Butoxyethanol: The Center for Disease Control says that “2-Butoxyethanol has long been known to be toxic.”

It doesn’t matter whether the despotic government is in China or North Carolina, thanks to advances in technology, no government will be able to cut off access to information without others making sure it is available. Those within governments that attempt to deny their citizens access to information will certainly suffer a political backlash for their attempts.

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Justin King is a journalist specializing in providing an alternative to the government-sanctioned view. You can find more of his stories on his Facebook page or on Twitter. 

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