Energy companies across California are injecting a mysterious mix of chemicals into the ground to tap oil deposits while frustrating attempts to regulate the controversial process, known as hydraulic fracturing. The procedure has drawn the greatest attention in the Rocky Mountain West and Northeast, where states have debated moratoriums to develop regulations after toxic chemicals were found in nearby drinking water. But a quieter battle is being waged in the Golden State, which could be a candidate for increased “fracking” because of its unique geology. Last year, the energy industry scuttled a bill that would have enlisted California in the growing ranks of states that require companies to disclose what they put into the ground. At least nine states have such guidelines.
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