This couldn't have happened to a more deserving company.
Exxon Mobil Corp. subsidiary XTO Energy will have to face criminal charges for allegedly dumping tens of thousands of gallons of hydraulic fracturing waste at a Marcellus Shale drilling site in 2010, according to a Pennsylvania judge’s ruling on Thursday.
Following a preliminary hearing, Magisterial District Judge James G. Carn decided that all eight charges against Exxon — including violations of both the state Clean Streams Law and the Solid Waste Management Act — will be “held for court,” meaning there is enough evidence to take the fossil fuel giant to trial over felony offenses.
One important question, of course, is what's in that hydraulic fracking waste. You'd think that the fracking companies would have to disclose that information, but believe it or not, as Climate Progress reports, "public disclosure of what exactly is used in the water is largely self-regulated by the fracking companies." In addition, "laws pushed by corporate front groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), sponsored by ExxonMobil," allow for "minimum disclosure of the chemicals used in the fluid." We do know, however, that fracking "chemicals have been linked to infertility, birth defects, and cancer." Given all that, does anyone feel comfortable trusting the very companies that have a major financial stake in fracking to regulate themselves? No, we didn't think so.