Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Another Energy Externality

This time it relates to water - from the SF Chronicle


Suong Tran said...

I personally do not agree with contaminating water for the exploitation of natural gas. Although in fact, gas is an abundant and clean resource of energy, we cannot sacrifice health and lives of people for a cheaper source of energy. It is not worth paying a little less for energy and then your body is poisoned. And poisoning the water is also polluting the environment, even if its aim is to reduce CO2 emission from coal burning.

Moreover, I agree that the water should be treated carefully after the fracking process. Maybe that will cost more money on the energy, but we will not have to worry about paying for health care treatment (which is much more expensive). At last, we still have both clean energy and clean water to use.

Andrea N. said...

This article is startling to me because I know of major natural gas operations arriving soon to Greene County, PA--one of the poorest rural counties in the state. Hopefully this will not be another instance of the poor absorbing the costs of others exploiting the energy sources beneath them.

At least in this case, however, one could track the fracking back to its source--no one can say "coal mining doesn't cause flooding, rain causes flooding."

Kahena Joubert said...

Which is more important: reducing carbon emissions or having access to clean and useable water? I am going to have to say water wins in this case. There are numerous ways to reduce carbon emissions and contaminating water sources should not be one of the ways. Without access to clean water humans will not survive. Not surprisingly, areas with more income would probably be able to deal with the contaminated water and still make use of it. However poorer areas that lack income would have no choice but to make use of the water available to them, even if it is contaminated. I don’t think reducing carbon emissions in this case is worth because of the terrible toll it has on human life.

I do agree with the article in that produced water needs to be more regulated, however so as the externalities of producing such water is so negative it should not be done. I feel like there are always ways to get around the regulations. But water is such a scare resource and should be valued more.