EPA gets tough with Halliburton


Kudos to the Environmental Protection Agency for playing hardball with energy giant, Halliburton Co., over disclosure of chemicals used in a drilling technique that's widespread in Pennsylvania.

The EPA is subpoenaing Halliburton for information about the chemicals used in high-pressure "fracking" of shale to obtain natural gas, The Wall Street Journal online reports. The technique, which involves pumping millions of gallons of water mixed with toxic chemicals more than a mile underground, is being used by drillers in thousands of wells in the Keystone State.

Some drillers have voluntarily disclosed information about the chemicals used in drilling. Halliburton has failed to turn over the requested data, in spite of the public's right to know what could contaminate drinking water.

Gov. Rendell last month issued an executive order banning further drilling in state forests. The state has already leased 140,000 acres of state forest to methane drillers since 2008.