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Topic: Energy     Department: Letters

The drill rig next door

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The Uinta Basin in northeastern Utah has air-quality problems just like those mentioned in Erie, Colo ("Front Range drilldown," HCN, 9/2/13). In the Uinta Basin, the natural gas industry loses 6 to 12 percent of its product from leaky installations and flaring. Methane is about the strongest of the greenhouse gases, and shouldn't be released. Fossil fuels when combusted also seem to be related to illness; in Utah, the rate of childhood autism is very high, as is the fossil fuel-based air pollution at certain times of year. Drill rigs don't belong next door to schools or homes. Every town and city should have a buffer zone to protect the safety and comfort of its residents from fracking and drilling. There are plenty of places to drill away from humans.

Linda Johnson
Salt Lake City, Utah

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