Dear Editor:

The gas drilling that is going on across Pennsylvania is now on a path to destroy not just a small portion of land, but the very way of life that the people of this area have enjoyed for generations.

There are many examples of places where the chemicals that the gas companies use in hydraulic fracturing have poisoned vast quantities of water. There are even instances of entire waterways being killed due to chemicals from this process. How much fishing can you do when there are no living fish?

How much hunting can you do when the deer drink poisoned water and die from it? How much rafting can you do when the water in the river is not safe to touch?

Some of you may say that its acceptable to allow the drillers to use a process that destroys drinking water because they aren't doing the drilling close to your home. Well, water travels and in our case it travels south from the drilling areas. For example, the town of Lehighton, on occasion, is dependent upon the Lehigh river for a portion of its drinking water. How much drinking water will Lehighton be able to take from the river if the river is full of lethal drilling chemicals such as ethyl glycol (anti-freeze), benzene (a known carcinogen) and sulfuric acid. These are merely three of the hundreds of chemicals that the drilling companies use in the hydraulic fracturing process.

Where will Lehighton turn for drinking water if the Lehigh river is no longer an option when it is needed? How much more will it cost? Once the chemicals get into the water you cannot remove them.

Even if you do not live in Lehighton, the water that you drink is still at risk because water constantly flows. There are documented cases of people being able to light their well water on fire after drilling took place in their area. Do we want that? Is it worth risking our children's health to allow a few corporations to make even more money on our backs?

We need to demand, not urge, that our elected officials push for a drilling moratorium to ensure that this does not happen to our homes. State Representative Keith McCall (610) 377-6363. State Senator Ray Musto (717)-787-7105. State Senator Dave Argall (717-787-2637). Congressman Paul Kanjorski (202)-225-6511. US Senator Arlen Specter (202)-224-4254. US Senator Robert Casey (866) 802-2833.

Harold James

Summit Hill