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The Green Life: River Woes, Thanks To Domestic Oil Drilling

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January 05, 2009

River Woes, Thanks To Domestic Oil Drilling

Horseshoe Bend, Colorado River There's something in the water... Concerns about freshwater supplies are rising due to the renewed fervor of domestic oil production. The Colorado River is threatened by oil operations in its proximity, while drilling in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shales is contaminating the Monongahela River. The Bush administration’s auctioning of valuable riparian real estate hasn’t helped, to say the least.

Over its 1,450-mile journey, the Colorado River traverses seven states, waters 15 percent of the nation's crops, and provides potable water to 1 in 12 Americans. As for the Monongahela, 350,000 people rely on it for drinking water. However, nearby oil-drilling operations have pumped it full of toxic chemicals. While the EPA is doing tests, there are no definitive studies or rulings to prevent companies from dumping pollutants.

Will hunger for fossil-fuel independence overrule the thirst for safe drinking water? Let's hope not.

--Hannah Buoye

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