One of the biggest challenges is simply finding out what natural gas companies are pumping into the air and water. Fracking is exempt from many federal requirements to monitor air and water pollution, and gas companies don't do much voluntary reporting.
It's true that regulation costs money, and some short-sighted business leaders seem to have a reflex that causes them to oppose regulation whenever it is proposed. On the other hand, it's also true that lawlessness and an absence of rules can be quite expensive.
As part of the publicity surrounding the introduction of Halliburton's new fracking fluid formula known as CleanStim, CEO Dave Lesar had one of his executives take a swig of the stuff in front of a stunned audience.
While the natural gas companies might think hydraulic fracturing (or "fracking") is great for their bottom line, the process involves pumping thousands of gallons of toxic chemicals down into the earth.
New Yorkers were out in force last Tuesday to protect the purity of their legendary water. A public event focused on drilling in a vast Upstate reservoir of natural gas that developers are seeking to exploit.