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Thursday, August 22, 2013
Re: “Forest shouldn’t be sacrificed for one industrial use,” Aug. 18 Point/Counterpoint:
Sarah Francisco makes the misguided claim that the George Washington National Forest would be “sacrificed” if hydraulic fracturing is allowed.
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell — whose job is to protect our forests, wildlife and natural resources — has said that hydraulic fracturing is “essential”; that as an engineer herself, she knows from experience the process “can be done safely and responsibly.”
Hydraulic fracturing has been studied at length and shown to be safe. Independent researchers from MIT and Stanford, the U.S. Geological Survey and dozens of state regulators have found no credible threat to air or water. The U.S. Department of Energy recently released a landmark study that showed it did not contaminate water at a western Pennsylvania site. A recent peer-reviewed study found that water contamination from the process “does not appear to be physically plausible.”
As for the benefits of allowing shale gas development? New jobs, more tax revenue, less reliance on OPEC and cleaner air.
Protecting and preserving parks and forests are goals everyone shares. Decisions on how to ensure critical protections should be based on facts, not talking points designed solely to stop responsible development.
Researcher Energy in Depth
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