This is important—and this is the sort of thing that should influence your vote next November.
Two things are true about hydraulic fracking:
- It can pollute water supplies and the long-term consequences are largely unknown.
- It makes the extraction of natural gas so affordable that we can start replacing oil with now-plentiful natural gas. This means switching to a cleaner burning fuel that we don’t have to import. It means more domestic jobs and less green house gas emissions.1
In other words, the dangers are real and significant—but the advantages are so enormous that it’s going to happen one way or the other. Fortunately, many of the dangers can be reduced or eliminated by some common-sense regulation.
It’s not clear that we have the will to ramp up truly clean energy at the speed we need to. Moving to natural gas is a decent stop gap. But it’s critical to have a President in power who is willing to make sure appropriate environmental protections are in place.