We have heard a lot of talk lately about “fracking,” and its possible impact on water quality. Fracking is a means of increasing the harvest from fossil fuel mining, and involves injecting mostly water, but sometimes sand and other components, down into the soil. There is a fine article out today by Jay Ambrose of the Scripps Howard News Service. See it at: http://www.scrippsnews.com/taxonomy/term/317
In short, life is full of trade-offs. And it certainly looks like the trade-off between proven greater harvests of natural gas and petroleum and a miniscule chance of minor water quality deterioration is the wise one to make.
We obviously need to monitor such activities very carefully, as we have been surprised — and not in a good way — by past activities that have led to water quality problems. But with the magnitude of the global energy crisis — along with its geopolitical ramifications — fracking looks good to me. So let the “frackers” proceed. To paraphrase the late President Ronald Reagan, we should “trust” them to do their jobs well, “but verify” their claims by vigilant monitoring.