07 Nov '11, 9pm

Krugman: Only politics can delay energy transformation

Krugman: Only politics can delay energy transformation

Fracking -- injecting high-pressure fluid into rocks deep underground, inducing the release of fossil fuels -- is an impressive technology. But it's also a technology that imposes large costs on the public. We know that it produces toxic (and radioactive) wastewater that contaminates drinking water; there is reason to suspect, despite industry denials, that it also contaminates groundwater; and the heavy trucking required for fracking inflicts major damage on roads. Economics 101 tells us that an industry imposing large costs on third parties should be required to "internalize" those costs -- that is, to pay for the damage it inflicts, treating that damage as a cost of production. Fracking might still be worth doing given those costs. But no industry should be held harmless from its impacts on the environment and the nation's infrastructure. Yet what the industry and its d...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/energy-policy/2011-11-07-krugman-onl...

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