Congressman: More information needed on controversial natural gas extraction

    California Congressman Henry Waxman is demanding more information from companies using a controversial practice to extract natural gas in Pennsylvania and other states. Environmentalists worry about the impact of drilling.

    California Congressman Henry Waxman is demanding more information from companies using a controversial practice to extract natural gas in Pennsylvania and other states. Environmentalists worry about the impact of drilling.

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    Gas companies have spent billions of dollars paying landowners in the state for the right to drill on their property. But questions remain about the chemicals used in the process and how they would impact drinking water.

    Now Waxman, who chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee has sent letters to industry representatives demanding more information about a process known as “hydraulic fracturing.”

    David Masur is with PennEnvironment. Masur says the companies are refusing to disclose which chemcials they’re pumping into the ground.

    Masur: They sort of talk about it like its sharing the recipe for Coca Cola. We don’t think that when you’re injecting tens of thousands of pounds of chemicals near people’s drinking water supply its fair to call it proprietary in the same way that we talk about the recipe for Coca Cola.

    Masur says the state is rushing to drill without thinking about potential environmental harm.

    A spokesman for Governor Rendell says state regulators approach drilling with caution.

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