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Fracking Chemicals, Hockey in Houston, Great Art in Ugly Rooms: Houston Matters for Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Companies that drill for oil use combinations of chemicals in the hydraulic fracturing process to free oil trapped in rock formations called shale. You probably know that drillers pump thousands of gallons of water mixed with such chemicals down into their wells. You may be aware there are rules about reporting what those chemicals are. […]

Companies that drill for oil use combinations of chemicals in the hydraulic fracturing process to free oil trapped in rock formations called shale. You probably know that drillers pump thousands of gallons of water mixed with such chemicals down into their wells. You may be aware there are rules about reporting what those chemicals are. What you may not know, is that one of the most common chemicals is HYDROCHLORIC ACID. Yes, that’s right – acid is pumped into the ground as part of the fracking process. And lots of it.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we talk with Dave Fehling, Houston Public Media’s State Impact Reporter for Energy and the Environment. He joins us to explain this process, discuss the history of fracking chemical usage, and walk through what regulations exist regarding the use – and reporting – of acid and other fracking chemicals, and whether the industry by and large operates according to those regulations.

Also this hour: we continue our series highlighting winter sports played here in Houston. Michael Hagerty will report on hockey enthusiasts in town, both young and old. There is, in fact, a dedicated community of hockey players in Greater Houston. Dedicated ice? Maybe not so much.

And: Houston artist Paul Kremer has digitally pieced together hundreds of works of art into photos of ugly rooms. It started as an online blog, but Kremer decided to take his images off the screen and into the Brandon Art Gallery. His show is called “Great Art in Ugly Rooms.” Dacia Clay from Houston Public Media’s arts and culture unit talks with Kremer about the exhibit.

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