Safety of extracting natural gas? Pros and cons

From an article in today's Ithaca Journal:

PHILADELPHIA -- The chief executive of one of the top U.S. natural gas producers delivered a blistering rebuke of critics of shale gas drilling on Wednesday, calling them fear-mongering extremists who want Americans to live in a world where "it's cold, it's dark and we're all hungry."

Speaking at an industry conference in Philadelphia, Chesapeake Energy Corp. CEO Aubrey McClendon said that gas drilling has been done safely for decades using a process called hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."

Environmental activists say that fracking and the drilling boom it's created have led to polluted air and tainted groundwater and made people sick...

....Stephen Cleghorn, who runs an organic farm in Reynoldsville in western Pennsylvania, said outside the convention center that he doesn't believe industry assurances.

"Don't let anybody tell you it's responsible drilling," he said...

Read the whole thing.

Finished gas well behind a barn in Susquehanna Co., PA, August, 2011