Not too soon to ban fracking

March 11, 2013

The oil and gas industry promotes the myth of shale gas providing energy security and economic growth, but those claims are based more on hype than fact ("Anti-fracking legislation is premature," March 7). A Food & Water Watch study in 2011 showed that one job claim was exaggerated by 900 percent. Betting our future on the supposed abundance of natural gas — likely about a six-year supply — would simply perpetuate America's destructive dependence on the oil and gas industry.

The only security enjoyed by fracking would be the security of the industry's profits when they turn Maryland into a dumping ground for wastewater and a way station for exporting fracked gas overseas through Cove Point. Furthermore, current low prices of natural gas are proving detrimental to the nation's development of renewable energy, with a recent U.S. Department of Energy report pointing to the low price of natural gas as a threat to the development of wind energy. The only way to ensure that resources go to where they need to be — toward the development of renewables — is to ban fracking now.

Wenonah Hauter, Washington, D.C.

The writer is executive director of Food & Water Watch.

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