A bill that would make it a crime to publicly disclose the secret chemical cocktails energy companies pump into the ground when fracking for natural gas is headed for a vote before the North Carolina Senate.
A pair of legislative committees on Tuesday quickly approved the bill, which could go to the full Senate floor as soon as Wednesday. The new legislation would allow drilling to begin in the state next year.
The legislation requires energy companies to submit a list of the chemicals being used to the state geologist, who would keep them locked away in case of an emergency. Industry groups claim the chemicals are trade secrets and the legislation exempts the lists from disclosure as public records. Unauthorized disclosure of those chemicals would be a felony.