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Environmental Groups Support & Oppose Fracking Water Recycling Bill

South Texas Environmental Education and Research

A bill to ensuring that oil companies using fracking techniques are being held to environmental standards has passed out of the Natural Resources Committee and now heads to the House floor for a vote.

The bill, authored by Rep. Tracy King, D-Batesville, requires oil companies using fracking techniques to recycle the water used to penetrate injection wells, a measure that has the approval of Environment Texas President Luke Metzler.

"We all need to be doing our part to save water," Metzler said. "Unfortunately we have not seen that commitment by the oil and gas industry. A study that Texoga themselves commissioned found that only 5 percent of water in the Burnet Ford Shale is recycled - practically no water in the Eagle Ford Shale is recycled."

Metzger said technology is available for these companies to conserve water and the more they are recycling the less waste that is injected underground.

Not all environmental groups are on the same page. Scott Anderson with the Environmental Defense Fund has some serious concerns.

"We do have a concern about unanticipated effects if we move too fast without understanding the environmental risks and the necessary environmental controls," Anderson said.

The bill allows the Texas Railroad Commission to establish a set of rules and regulations for recycling the water used during fracking.