Shale gas extraction is safe

Conjuring up a misleading comparison between a present-day opportunity and the Cuyahoga River fires makes for intriguing headlines, but it ignores present-day realities about hydraulic fracturing ("Water on fire? Time to put this on ice," Dec. 20). Marylanders deserve to know the truth: hydraulic fracturing has been used safely for more than 60 years.

Del. Heather Mizeur fails to account for previous studies by the EPA and what natural gas development has the potential to do for Marylanders. Just last month, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson noted to NBC Nightly News that previous federal studies have shown no scientific evidence of contamination and that hydraulic fracturing can be done responsibly to develop the energy resources we need to keep our homes comfortable and get to work every day.

Delegate Mizeur is correct in stating that the vast natural gas reserves found in the Marcellus Shale region are a game changer. There is enough natural gas to create hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs and provide Americans with a stable, domestic energy source for generations to come.

Repeating unproven accusations about the hydraulic fracturing process does a disservice to those searching for ways to boost state revenue and get Americans back to work.

Erik Milito, Washington

The writer is the upstream director at the American Petroleum Institute.