Something that has been left our of the discussion thus far are the fracking chemicals that are mixed with water and injected downhole to stimulate the wells. Throughout the history of fracking, more and more chemicals have been added to improve well performance. Thanks to trade secrets we don't know what all the chemicals are. But even the industry-sponsored, voluntary chemical registration site fracfocus lists dozens of chemicals (like hydrochloric acid) that should not get into drinking water. Of course, we can rest easy with assurances that these chemicals never get close to our water.
Or, we can reduce the number of chemicals used and replace toxic ones with non-toxic alternatives. Let's not give up on the idea of requiring or incentivizing more environmentally friendly fracking fluids.
There are manufacterers who produce greener, cleaner versions of fracking fluids. For example, FracTech makes several products in its Eco-Green Systems Solutions line that boast better environmental performance. And Multi-Chem has a NaturaLine of ecologically friendly fracking fluids. Here is what they have to say: "With growing concerns for the environment and increasing pressures from both regulators and the community, it is imperative for oil and gas companies to consider the potential risk incurred with each and every chemical product used and how it ultimately impacts people and the environment. NaturaLine™, Multi-Chem's line of environmentally conscious products and services, was developed to effectively reduce and, ultimately, eliminate any hazards associated with the chemical, removing chemical risk from your production equation."
Maybe the City does not have the authority to regulate frack fluids. But we at least have the soft-power of persuasion. Why not incentivize operators to use such products - maybe by offering perks of a "most-preferred operator" status? Why not find creative ways to engage in cost-sharing measures if eco-friendly chemicals are more expensive? Why not put our minds to this? Why didn't the Task Force do this?