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Letter: The price of fracking

V. K. Mathur (Monitor Forum, Aug. 3) praises the abundance and low price of U.S. fracked natural gas. Mathur lives in New Hampshire. I live on Long Island in New York. Neither of us are forced to deal with the side effects of this invasive extraction technique, but we both benefit from the cheap fuel.

However, I did grow up in West Virginia, one of only two states with shale formation under the entire state (the other is Louisiana). Since the “gas boom” began several years ago, the character of New Martinsville, my hometown, has drastically changed.

The fracking companies employ their own workers from out of town, so housing costs have skyrocketed for locals. Some residents have attributed increased drug and crime activity to the influx of non-local workers who have no ties to these communities.

There have been numerous chemical spills, contamination of drinking water, severe damage to roads, long traffic jams, and the overall quality of life has greatly declined.

From afar, fracked natural gas appears to be a cure-all for energy independence and satiating energy demand. However, the true costs to New Martinsville and to other small towns that could not declare “not in my backyard” are not accounted for within the cost of the extracted gas. If we were to include those costs to really compare apples to apples, surely less-invasive energy technologies like solar and wind would at least come out on par, if not less expensive.

ASHLEY HUNT-MARTORANO

Medford, N.Y.

Legacy Comments6

It's becoming more obvious as new data accumulates that natural gas--when all costs are considered -- is being vastly oversold as clean energy that can be used as a bridge fuel to a low carbon future. The letter writer describes some of the costs of fracking borne by affected communities. What is only now becoming clear is that leakage of natural gas-methane--from wells,pipelines, and end users, may be far more extensive than claimed. Methane is many times more potent a greenhouse gas than is carbon dioxide. The decline in ghg emissions that coincided with the natural gas boom likely had more to do with the Great Recession than an increase in natural gas use. Add in the fact we are exporting more of our coal, and the net result is going to be an increase in greenhouse gas emissions--not the dramatic declines in emissions we need.

One could believe the daily Brucie screed or they could read science and the truth that rebuts his daily alarmist agenda. HEADLINE : "Methane: The Irrelevant Greenhouse Gas"..... Water vapor has already absorbed the very same infrared radiation that Methane might have absorbed.http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/11/methane-the-irrelevant-greenhouse-gas/

What the author of that paper neglects to mention is the residence time of water vapor compared to methane: it's days for H2O compared to 8 to 12 years for methane, which "degrades" to CO2.

absolutely hilarious - this coming from the alarmists that has refused over 5 years the question posed " what is the average % of the earth that is covered by clouds". never once answered .... but he knows what the weather will be in 2100

And here is the CHECKMATE : "BOMBSHELL: Study shows greenhouse gas induced warming dropped for the past 14 years" - A paper published in the Journal of Climate finds from 800,000 observations a significant decrease in longwave infrared radiation from increasing greenhouse gases over the 14 year period 1996-2010......CO2 levels increased ~7% over this period and according to AGW theory, downwelling IR should have instead increased over this period.

The only question that remains for a reader is "do you believe this letter". Does a reader immediately believe an alarmist or do they research? HEADLINES 1)Popular anti-fracking study discredited by Colorado health department 2) Environmentalist-Funded Study Confirms Safety Of Fracking

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