Judge sides with Wyoming in fracking suit

CHEYENNE (AP) — A judge in Casper has sided with the state of Wyoming and ruled against environmentalists who sought to make public lists of the ingredients that go into hydraulic fracturing fluids.

Environmental groups had requested the ingredient lists from the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, arguing that the public needs to know what chemicals companies are putting underground.

Natrona County District Judge Catherine Wilking ruled Thursday that Wyoming’s state oil and gas supervisor was correct to withhold the ingredient lists as protected trade secrets.

Specially formulated lubricants are used in fracking, which involves pumping water, sand and fracking fluids underground to split open oil- and gas-bearing rocks.

Attorneys for Wyoming and oilfield services company Halliburton argued that public disclosure could allow competing companies to reverse-engineer fracking fluids.

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