The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is asking that companies utilizing hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," provide additional information on their methods. The SEC is collecting information on this technique along with other federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The SEC has historically focused on regulating other areas of the financial markets, but officials state they want investors to have more information about the potential risks associated with investing in oil and gas companies, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The agency's inquiries have triggered criticism on the part of industry participants that the efforts could create too much regulation. "While our industry absolutely supports common sense disclosure and transparency measures, such duplicative inquires that may fall outside of an agency's core mission, are troubling and counter to what our nation needs at this time," Kathryn Klaber, president of Marcellus Shale Coalition, told the media outlet.
A recent demonstration during a speech at a Colorado Oil and Gas Association conference has been interpreted by many to be a response to public concern about fracking methods, The Associated Press reports. A company executive reportedly drank from a container containing Haliburton's new fracking fluid to illustrate its safety.