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New perspective is needed on protecting environment

It was only a matter of time before we read something that tied the West Virginia chemical spill to the anti-hydrofracture movement in New York. I agree that we all need a reminder of how valuable our water resources are, which is why misinterpreted data, bad science and misleading environmental opinions may cause more environmental damage than good.

The West Virginia spill was related to a water-soluble cleanser for coal-related products. Should natural gas become the primary replacement for coal, this would have eliminated the recent spill and in turn reduced additional environment contamination beyond spill threats and well-documented air hazards.

Putting hydrofracture realities in some perspective, the parking lots of big-box stores will create more water pollution during one rain event than one gas well has ever caused. Watching the oil sheen, glycols and other unknowns careen down storm water grates directly into our fresh water supply untreated is ignored while enormous concern continues over a controlled drilling process that is indeed highly regulated. Once again, we need some perspective. More drinking water wells have been contaminated with natural occurring methane than ever caused by hydrofracture drilling methods (albeit, and incorrectly, it does make anti-fracking documentaries more scary).

Oil consumption in North America will not be replaced in the next decade. It’s reality. Yet environmentalists will not allow new high-tech pipelines to be constructed. Therefore, we will continue to see an increased amount of rail cars loaded with flammable oils rolling through cities big and small. The record for that trend stands on its own and it will get worse. Common sense dictates that we build the pipelines and reduce the archaic transportation method that threatens an extremely large percentage of our population every day.

Renewable energy sources are the goal; there is no argument. But this process will not happen overnight, as some would like us to believe. Environmental obstinacy may be considered a greater threat to the environment than most would like to believe.

Dave Maternowski

Fredonia