Flammable Drinking Water? Why Gas Drilling in New York and Nearby States Could Become an Environmental Catastrophe
By Byard Duncan, AlterNet

Fred Mayer is sitting at his kitchen table in Candor, NY, smoking a cigarette he probably shouldn’t be smoking.

This particular cigarette is the third one he’s lit in the past 10 minutes. A second ago, it was lying on the table in front of him next to three pocketknives, two inhalers and four other untouched cigarettes. Now it’s wedged between two tattooed knuckles on his left hand (the “D” and “U” of the word “DUCK”). Its smoke rises between us in a quivering ribbon.

Mayer, a heavyset Vietnam vet, shouldn’t be smoking this cigarette because his house and property are inundated with high levels of methane gas. There’s so much of it that he can hold a barbecue lighter up to his tap and watch his drinking water explode in a blue fireball.

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