Salazar warns of public ‘backlash’ against gas fracking

“So we are engaged today ... in a conversation with industry and with others about the disclosure of hydraulic fluids that are being injected into the underground, and I will say that very responsible, very reputable and very big companies in this country themselves favor disclosure, and are disclosing the chemicals that they are using,” he added.

But he wouldn’t say whether Interior will move ahead with a rule to compel disclosure. “We are looking at it,” Salazar said, noting “active conversations” with the industry and others.

Fracking involves high-pressure injections of chemicals, water and sand to break apart rock formations and enable trapped gas to flow.

The technique has helped enable a boom in development of gas from shale rock formations in a number of states. But the boom is also creating fears — which the industry calls overblown — about contamination of water supplies.

Several Democrats are calling for tighter EPA scrutiny, especially in the wake of a major New York Times investigative story on discharge of wastewater that contains chemical and radioactive elements into rivers that supply drinking water.