Re "Strict scrutiny for fracking," Editorial, Nov. 24
The Times' editorial is disappointing on two counts. First, it ignores the folly of extracting more fossil fuel when the threat posed by its use — to our planet, economy and people — is already evident. We should be using less fossil fuel, not more.
Second, it endorses monitoring the potential environmental harm of fracking without considering what we'll do if fracking pollutes our air and groundwater, destroys our bedrock or causes cancer and other diseases. Monitoring, when future effects are unknown and may be dire and irreversible, is not good public policy. Prevention makes better sense.
We should prohibit fracking in California until it is clear that the process poses no real threat to our land, air, water or long-term economic viability. California should ban fracking now and watch what happens in places where it is permitted before allowing it to continue here.
There may be some good reasons for regulating hydraulic fracturing, but its relevancy to California is debatable. My recent discussion with a geologist and 20-year veteran in the oil-and-gas business made it clear that fracking in the Monterey Shale formation has been found to be generally unworkable due to the very nature of the shale itself.
Other formations? Perhaps.
It appears that we are experiencing political overreaction.