Is it safe to trust the nation's oil and gas companies with our fragile environment? BP's
As you've undoubtedly learned, fracking involves drilling into hard rock or shale, and then blasting water, sand, and other fluids into the well bore. The shale is then broken up, releasing the oil or gas trapped inside.
The latest contentious round on the subject reached a crescendo this week when three members of Congress, Henry Waxman of California, Edward Markey of Massachusetts, and Diana DeGette of Colorado, penned a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson.
In their missive the trio contend that a pair of the biggest oilfield services companies, Halliburton
As the representatives noted in their letter, "This appears to be a violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act. It also means that the companies injecting diesel fuel haven't performed the environmental reviews required by the law." All of the companies, including industry kingpin Schlumberger
Halliburton has responded that it "is firmly committed to meeting all of the regulatory requirements applicable to hydraulic fracturing."
In December, I told Fools that Halliburton, Baker Hughes, and smaller Flotek
In an excellent article last month, she observed that numerous "socially responsible investors have filed resolutions related to fracking at many major oil companies ..." Included among the resolutions' targets are the two largest U.S.-based members of Big Oil, ExxonMobil
For my money, Alyce was dead on when she urged that, "All investors should pay attention to shareholder resolutions filed at the companies they own." Approaching the possible transgressions in that manner is far more likely to yield meaningful results than are elected officials who may be headed off half-cocked.
We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Fool contributor David Lee Smith doesn't own shares of any of the companies mentioned above. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.