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OPINION

Letter: Fracking does pose concerns

Re: The Detroit News’ March 25 editorial, “States are the best fracking watchdogs”: It may be true that Michigan has escaped the pitfalls of fracking with its token regulations so far, but those wells drilled through the water table separate the now released gas from the aquifer with a thin layer of concrete.

It is only a question of “when” rather than “if” that barrier will fail. The well penetrations are permanent, but concrete, as we see on our roads, is not. Natural gas may be safer and cleaner than coal, as the guest editorials claim, but EPA and independent measurements show leakage is many times worse than claimed at the wellhead, and other leakage on the way to consumption is not included in those tabulations.

We should deal with what we know rather than looking for new energy sources. Raising building insulation standards could reduce energy demands and thereby reduce the consumption of fossil fuels regardless of whether coal or gas. Over time, such investments pay for themselves, and this is a guaranteed payback unlike investments in cold fusion research and jeopardizing the future of our water supply and climate.

Dennis L. Green, Farmington Hills