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Paper should have covered UMass fracking teach-in

To the editor:

Fracking and the extraction of shale gas are important topics in energy resources as well as environmental concerns. On Dec. 13 there was a day-long conference at the University of Massachusetts called “Shale Gas in Massachusetts” sponsored by the American Ground Water Trust and featuring presenters that were local as well as far away as Texas.

The Gazette sent a photographer to document the brief anti-fracking demonstration and published a color picture on the front of the second section.

There was, however, no story about the conference. What shoddy editorial oversight. It was a disservice and distortion to your readers, and you missed an opportunity to cover this timely topic.

However, for the benefit of your readers: Fracking and shale gas development will probably never be planned for the Connecticut Valley due to very thin shale layers which are also tilted and fractured.

A DVD of the conference may be obtained through the American Ground Water Trust by visiting www.agwt.org. I urge everyone to view the excellent web page prepared by the Massachusetts geologist’s office at www.geo.umass.edu/stategeologist. Follow the link to “resources on Shale Gas and hydraulic fracturing for Massachusetts residents.

Richard Little


Richard Little is a professor of geology emeritus at Greenfield Community College and was a Dec. 13 conference presenter.

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