LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Columbia Council needs more facts about natural gas

Monday, September 2, 2013 | 2:19 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Does the Columbia City Council's (not-yet-signed) contract for a natural gas fueling station make taxpayers financially liable for years for a percentage of unsold gas? Should Columbians subsidize the natural gas industry?

We need time to gather information from nonbiased sources outside the profit-making natural gas industry pitch.

Should we obligate city funds to support contamination of air and groundwater by toxic chemicals, methane leaks, and the probability, in a few decades, of the public's being left with impossible cleanup? Will thousands of fracked natural gas wells be abandoned, leaving aging, cracking concrete deep underground, many leaking methane and toxic chemicals to the surface?

"We're opening up channels for (methane) gas to creep up to the surface and into the atmosphere ... methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas ... than carbon dioxide …" states Louis Allstadt, former executive vice president of Mobil Oil.

Fracking (pumping water, sand and toxic chemicals into deep cement wells to pressure oil or natural gas upwards) has been used for decades, but Allstadt calls today's high-volume fracking "just horrible," "conventional drilling on steroids,"  with "50 to 100 times more (fracking fluids) than what was used in conventional wells."

However, electricity can be produced by rapidly developing cleaner energy — solar and wind — which also provides the most jobs. Search: "L.A. Metro to Purchase its First Electric Buses for Los Angeles County." Shouldn't this be Missouri's direction?

For the facts, search: "4 Frac Myths: Ingraffea," by Dr. Anthony Ingraffea, Civil Engineer, Cornell University.

Linda Green is a Columbia resident.

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