Wind turbines dot the landscape near Steele City, Neb. (Nati Harnik/Associated Press)

The Aug. 13 news article “Scientists fault EPA report on fracking pollution” continued a debate that doesn’t need to take place. We continue to argue about energy policies in the United States that may damage the environment instead of committing to renewable energy. The debate should be about the total impact of manufacturing the energy source and any pollutants that result from its energy production, not one or the other.

Fracking discussions should include the impact of methane leaks from wells and emissions from the plants that use natural gas. We should compare those elements with any pollutants from the manufacturing of solar panels and wind turbines and the pollutants those energy sources do not produce when used. 

We still need some energy from fossil fuels, but cities across the United States are committing to deriving 100 percent of their energy from renewable sources no later than 2050. Some already have done it. Do we really need to debate the possibility of polluting our potable water sources when our road map to the future of energy is clear?

Robert Keller, Arlington

The writer is vice chairman of
the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Arlington chapter.