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As usual, almost all the facts indicate almost no likelihood of problems if fracking is done properly. And as usual, all the objectors use piles of hypothetical "what ifs" to paint dire pictures of their fantasies.
None of us would bathe in undiluted fracking fluid, any more than we'd bathe in gasoline; but that doesn't mean frack fluid should never be used. Well contamination from horizontal fracking has been tremendously rare, and is nowhere near as likely as from the hundreds and hundreds of vertical fracked wells already operating for decades.
And what if some fracking fluid escaped in a surface spill? In reality, it would be much less harmful than the 2000 gallons of gasoline spilled at I-680. Yet the anti-fracking crowd is happy to drive to protests, using gasoline and risking their own spills, then drive back to their gas-heated homes, or their homes heated with coal-generated electricity, which is far worse. Nobody picketed at I-680 and called for an end to driving!
The natural gas now being used comes mostly from old vertical wells. Gasoline is now transported in all our watersheds, despite the obvious spill risks. Coal is continually polluting our air and adding far more than gas to climate change. When the protesters give up all their use of fossil fuels, I'll take them seriously.
February 17, 2012 at 11:32 a.m.
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