Consol Energy/Dominion Resources plans to use contaminated mine drainage water instead of surface water and groundwater for "fracking" its Marcellus Shale natural gas wells, according to the news story "Consol pegs water as next business move" (May 5 and TribLIVE.com).
Since these wells use tremendous amounts of water for this purpose -- some of which is unrecoverable -- I guess using such acid-tainted water is a relatively good thing. But any such "permanent" depletion of the world's finite natural resources should give us pause.
As a society, we are already living beyond our means. Increasingly we rely not on conservation or population control but technology to provide for our excesses.
The oil well disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is one more lesson that it is a dangerous thing to mess with Mother Nature.
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