I can only imagine the fear that must grip a parent when their child suffers an asthma attack, and I can only imagine how much time and energy they spend doing everything they can to avoid triggers for these potentially deadly attacks. A major trigger is smog pollution -- also known as ground-level ozone.
Saying "it's your decision" is abdicating government's responsibility to protect us. It's declaring that the chemical industry is in charge, that our only chance for protection is for each and every one of us to become toxicologists and assess risk in our tap water, in the beauty aisle, at the supermarket.
Earlier this week West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin said the following about whether people should be drinking the water in Charleston and downstream: "It's your decision. ... I'm not a scientist." For the 300,000 people affected by the coal chemical spill from two weeks ago, I bet that's very reassuring.
We must better control the level of methane being released from the current technology employed in hydraulic fracturing extraction of natural gas from shale deposits. We have the technology to minimize fugitive emissions of methane. We must implement the required real-time monitoring and control technology.