You are here: home   Issues   Looking for Balance in Navajoland   Cleaner, shmeaner
Topic: Energy     Department: Letters

Cleaner, shmeaner

Document Actions

First, I commend HCN on the excellent article, "The Global West," which skillfully presents how energy markets are affecting resource extraction in the West (HCN, 7/25/11). I'm going to get as many of my friends and family members to read it as I can. That said, it drove me nuts to read this in one of the sidebars: "However, if greenhouse gases are reduced, coal production will flatten, as cleaner natural gas becomes more important both domestically and abroad."

Especially considering the equally excellent article on fracking you just published, HCN should know that natural gas is not cleaner. It may burn cleaner, but the extraction process is becoming our worst nightmare. The words "cleaner natural gas" should be banished forever, along with the equally false "clean coal."

Quite frankly, I'm concerned about climate change, air pollution, mercury in our water, and the contamination of our wells and aquifers by hydraulic fracturing. However, unless one is unlucky enough to be killed in a natural disaster you can pin on global warming, climate change is generally something we can adapt to, as it is happening gradually. Meanwhile, air pollution and mercury pollution caused by coal burning will both clear up rapidly if you stop burning coal. But the contamination that is now spreading in our aquifers, as hundreds of secret chemicals are injected underground during the fracking process, will cause disease and death for decades. And nobody has a clue how to clean it up. So, please, don't ever use that term again. Natural gas isn't cleaner at all.

Crista Worthy
Los Angeles, California

Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. A graceful gazelle becomes a pest | Inrroducing an African gazelle called the oryx for...
  2. The man behind a New Mexico county's fracking ban | Last year Mora became the first county in the nati...
  3. Plains sense | Ten years after Frank and Deborah Popper first pro...
  4. What's killing the Yukon's salmon? | An ecological mystery in Alaska has scientists and...
  5. Salmon go down the tubes – literally | Washington biologists test pressurized tubes to tr...
HCN Classifieds
Subscriber Alert
More from Energy
On booms and their remains A North Dakota photographer returns home to examine changes to the landscape.
Efficiency lessons from Germany
The Latest: Mining battle update at Utah’s Tavaputs Plateau State supreme court gives green light to tar sands permits.
All Energy
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone