In essence AB 591 calls simply for public disclosure of the many chemicals that are used during the fracking process. At the hearing, no one from the drilling industry volunteered to speak in opposition to the legislation. But Senator Fran Pavley, a key environmental lawmaker, has been critical of what she calls behind the scenes soft opposition to the bill. During the committee hearing she tried to get that opposition into the light.
PAVLEY: "I heard rumors in the building that Haliburton was engaged in this process and I didn't know if there was a representative from Haliburton in the building."
Sure enough there was a representative from Haliburton in the room, Terry McGann. Once Pavley and McGann exchanged pleasantries, McGann fleshed out the oil and gas giant's position.
MCGANN: "This question relates specifically to the issue of trade secrets. In the event of a public safety issue, if someone was injured or some adverse situation occurred. Then all of the information in terms of quantity and quality is given to the operators. Alternatively they do want to protect the tens of millions of dollars of investment they have made."
Pavley's office said they have serious concerns with Haliburton's position, saying withholding information about chemicals because of trade secrets would leave Californians in the dark when it comes to long term chemical exposure. The bill is expected to make it to the full senate floor in August.