Wednesday, July 30, 2008

THe Ongoing Green Conundrum

Today I started reading an article in the WSJ about energy companies flocking to Appalachia to buy land in order to drill test wells in search of natural gas deposits. The more I read the more I wanted to stop reading because I started to get what I call that "green angst." It starts in my gut and moves it's way through my whole body because I really like to be clear about my opinions. And in the rapidly changing, moving to greener pastures world of ours, sometimes it is just what I said - an ongoing green conundrum.

On the one hand, I really believe we need to continue to search for any kind of fuel that makes us less dependent upon foreign oil. There are places in the U.S. where geologists say there is enough natural gas to meet U. S. demand for two years. And that is a good thing.

On the other hand, (and forcing me past the angst and through the article), environmentalist raised what seems to me a very legitimate concern about water contamination. A non-profit news service cited instances of drinking water contamination in states where a particular kind of drilling technique (known as hydraulic fracturing or hydrofracking) is used to drill. Reading on to the very end, the article states that the drilling won't cause groundwater contamination, it's the water being used to drill that's filled with harmful chemicals that is the concern. i.e. How will the water filled with frac fluid and brine be discharged back into the river systems?

What noone questioned was that the chemicals used in the drilling process are toxic.

Thus the condundrum. Can't someone out there just figure this out so that I don't have green angst? How about drill, spend a little more money on treating the water (and we all know there has GOT to be a way), maybe have a slightly less profit margin and turn things into a win/win. Maybe I just don't know enough or maybe even better- it's just that simple!

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