Texas House lawmakers Wednesday approved a bill that would require disclosure of the contents of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) fluids used in natural gas wells in the state.

The bill is headed to the Senate where it is expected to pass.

According to a House Energy Resources Committee analysis of the legislation, it "could create the nation's strongest hydraulic fracturing fluid disclosure regime, thus earning the support of several environmental groups and the backing of many in industry because the legislation provides certain limited trade secret protections that will allow operators and service providers to protect their intellectual property."

The legislation was filed in March with bipartisan support (see Shale Daily, March 18). Two Republicans -- Reps. Myra Crownover of Denton and Tan Parker of Flower Mound -- and two Democrats -- Reps. Lon Burnam of Fort Worth and Mark Strama of Austin -- helped pen HB 3328 with Resources Committee Chair Jim Keffer (R-Eastland). The bill also has been supported by the Environmental Defense Fund and Texas League of Conservation Voters.

Last year Arkansas lawmakers voted to require disclosure of frack fluids (see Shale Daily, Dec. 10, 2010). The Texas legislation is similar to Arkansas'.

Previously in the current Texas legislative session, state Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) filed a bill that would have required a tracer chemical to be added to frack fluids so the fluids could later be identified in cases where water contamination by fracking is alleged (see Shale Daily, Feb. 24). That bill (SB 772) was referred to the Senate Natural Resources Committee near the end of February where it has stayed.