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No room for urban legends in drilling

August 3, 2012
The Herald-Star

The natural gas industry is too important to our region, not to mention the rest of the country, for decisions about it to be based on misinformation. Unfortunately, getting the facts out seems to be an uphill battle.

For many months, some criticism of gas drilling has been based on claims groundwater in and around the Pennsylvania village of Dimock was polluted by wells. Finally last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency completed tests on drinking water there - and found it is safe.

Another claim has been that breast cancer tends to be more common where gas drilling is common. That, too, is false, according to researchers.

There are plenty of legitimate concerns about the gas industry - and they have to be addressed - without adding urban legends to the mix. Those asked to make decisions on the industry, whether on allowing drilling on the old family farm or enacting new regulations, should insist on science-based proof of claims made both in support and criticism of gas drilling.

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