To the editor of THE EAGLE:
I would like to address the July 21 letter to the editor by Steve Everley of Energy in Depth, "It is unfair to demonize fracking." While the Independent Petroleum Association of America certainly benefits from the "clarity and context" offered by Mr. Everley, readers of The Berkshire Eagle could do without this strategic avoidance of the issue at hand.
It is too convenient for oil and gas extraction companies to define "fracking" solely as the moment of fracture in fossil fuel extraction. This definition, however, fails to include the infrastructure stress, water and air contamination risk, and toxic waste buildup that necessarily proceed and follow that solitary moment of fracture. Attempting to convince the public that the accompanying issues do not exist simply because they don’t fit into the industry’s self-defined term of "fracking" is deplorable.
To the neighbors of drilling and wastewater injection sites, fracking isn’t just the moment of fracture -- fracking is the fleet trucks that clank by at all hours of the day and night, it’s the water from their sink that now catches on fire, and it’s the shaking of their pictures walls after a regionally uncharacteristic earthquake.
Energy in Depth should recognize that those raising concerns about the safety of fracking aren’t being "unfair," and the fracking industry ought to know better than to drill first and ask questions later.
The writer is an intern for Environment Massachusetts, a research and policy organization.