It was gratifying to see my letter in today’s Washington Post, referring to a previous WaPo article about environmental consequences of natural gas drilling.

In the letter, I respond to arguments that, because hydrofracking fluids contain only a small quantity of chemicals (which is not always true, by the way), people ought not have concerns, by saying

Gas exploration companies’ assertion that the fluids for hydraulic fracturing contain “only a tiny percentage of chemicals” is a distraction. After all, sewage is 99.9 percent pure water.

Then I referred readers to New York’s past experience with Love Canal, one of the most important environmental disasters of our day, lest people forget that the highest levels of vigilance must be brought to bear on such matters.

There’s no future in permitting injection of toxic substances, in any amount, into the subsurface, and it has never been shown that it is necessary to do so in order to get out the gas.