Submitted by admin on Wed, 02/15/2012 - 11:28
Kevin Williamson in the NYPost:
Learning how to exploit the rich vein of natural gas buried in the Marcellus Shale beneath Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York has been a boon to the nation, but another remarkable discovery’s gone along with it. The Keystone State has devised a system of environmental-protection regulations that actually works.
Exploiting shale gas to its full capability has the potential to radically alter some fundamental economic and national-security equations. After all, oil imports account for about half of the total US trade deficit, and US policymakers suffer insomnia every time some random ayatollah starts making scary noises about the Strait of Hormuz.Environmental ones, too. About half of US electricity comes from burning coal — which, on its best day, is a lot more environmentally problematic than natural gas (something to think about while tooling down to Trader Joe’s in your 45 percent coal-powered Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf).Then there’s the jobs......So what’s not to love?
The problem is hysteria over the gas-drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking..."...There are real environmental concerns about gas drilling, says John Hanger, an environmental activist, former Pennsylvania environmental secretary and sometimes sharp critic of the gas industry — but the concerns have little to do with fracking...