Sunday Dialogue: Gas Drilling and Our Energy Future

Readers discuss whether natural gas from shale is a promising resource or a misguided risk.

To the Editor:

Several states, including New York, are now considering whether to permit hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in areas under their authority. Fracking has made important changes to the American energy budget but has also raised significant concerns about environmental impacts.

The resulting natural gas production has lowered natural gas prices and reduced American dependence on foreign oil. Yet videos of residents near fracking operations setting their kitchen faucets on fire because of methane gas in the drinking water are routinely summoned to condemn the technology.

A reasonable case can be made that the gas resource is too important to ignore, but also that the environmental issues are too important to dismiss. The country must find a way to make this technology work in an environmentally sound way.

Read full text at The New York Times