To the editor:
Many environmentalists are torn over the issue of natural gas as a transitional fuel to a green economy. Recent studies demonstrate that methane gas leaking from natural gas processes may negate any benefits from reduced combustion emissions. So from a greenhouse gas perspective, it’s probably not worth it. Plus, the development of the wells won’t create many long-term jobs the same way renewable energy would, so I don’t think it’s worth it from that perspective, either.
Though I’m a graduate student of environmental policy, I think we should frack ourselves anyway. We (Americans) are the leading consumers of fossil fuels. Up until now we’ve been consuming these toxins from all over the world, so we haven’t experienced the negative external costs involved. We should poison our own water sources before we poison the fragile habitats of the Niger Delta or the Arctic or the Gulf of Mexico. With a little luck, our addiction will lead to the contamination of New York City’s watershed. Maybe then we will realize the difficult policy choices we are faced with.