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Be prudent in your use of natural gas

Is natural gas a good transition fuel? Think again. Because of the fairly new technology of fracking, it is as dirty as coal, releasing large amounts of methane during removal. In fracking, toxic chemicals are forced into cracks in the shale, which releases the methane, which is then tapped for use. Much of this methane is released into the atmosphere, and some of it, plus the toxic chemicals, end up in rivers, streams, and the local aquifers, causing respiratory illnesses, rashes, and allergic reactions in people living nearby, and making their tap water unsafe to drink, or even use. In some cases, people have actually been able to set their tap water on fire. Really? Just ask the people in Dimmock, Pa., that is, if anyone lives there anymore. Most of them gave up their homes and land and moved to save their lives.

Fracking uses a lot more energy to obtain natural gas than traditional methods do. The ratio of energy spent to that obtained is quite high, thus making it costly and inefficient. Fracking wells don’t last long before they give out. In an area where fracking is going on, over 100 wells may be drilled, creating a moonscape effect, and a couple of years later, they give out and are abandoned, but the toxic environmental damage remains. About 20 percent of these wells develop leaks, destroying the local aquifers and the lives of the people. This is insupportable.

If you heat your home and/or water with gas, please conserve. Dress warmly and turn down the heat. Turn the water temperature down, and use it sparingly.

JAHNN SWANKER-GIBSON

Johnstown