Thursday, August 20, 2015

Fracking & Air Pollution

I have been mostly somewhat pro-fracking: it's just SO much better than coal and so much cheaper than renewables. Yes, it should be considered a temporary solution on the way to renewables, but there is good there with the bad: I really think that if done carefully, this is not a bad way to go.

There's the rub, though: what % of the time are they doing things "carefully"? On the one hand, it's in their interests to capture as much of the gas as possible, since that's their product, but on the other hand, at some point it becomes too expensive for them to try to trap every little bit of it. Also, depending on the tightness of environmental regulations, the nasty byproduct given the benign name "produced water" can be treated lots of ways, from carefully to sloppily. Unfortunately Josh Fox's lame movie lumped in valid criticism with journalistic hype (as some of you saw in my class) making it all too easy to dismiss his whole argument, IMHO.

Anyway, a nice article from the Guardian reminds me of the air pollution problems that may be associated with fracking. As a long-time asthma sufferer it's frustrating to know that a lot of people develop this condition after exposure to pollution: sure wish that would stop, but anecdotally at least fracking may be making it worse.

Further, the article points out another issue: environmental racism. Black Lives Matter, and the quality of black lives matters too. Too often environmental damage is ignored when it's in areas populated mostly by poor people of color. Let the word go out!

No comments:

Post a Comment