Energy experts: Drilling can be cleaner
PITTSBURGH — In the Colorado mountains, a spike in air pollution has been linked to a boom in oil and gas drilling. On the North Texas plains, there’s a drilling boom, too, but some air pollution levels have declined. Opponents point to Colo- rado and say drilling is dangerous. Companies point to Texas and say drilling is safe.
The answer appears to be that drilling can be safe or dangerous. Industry practices, enforcement, geography and even snow cover can affect air pollution.
Nearly all sides agree that the technology exists to control methane gas leaks and other air pollution associated with drilling. The bad news is that the industry is booming so rapidly that some companies and some regulators can’t seem to get ahead of the problems, which could cost billions of dollars to remedy.