Your mileage may vary... in accordance with the prophecy.
I don't understand why they wouldn't think that the gas would not be radioactive, though.
I think there was probably a belief (correctly so) that the gas itself would still consist of hydrogen and carbon and be safe. Probably just underestimated how far the contaminants would spread, thinking they would be stopped fairly early by the rock structure, or being heavy metals would not be carried up the well by the gas.
The world has not changed that much (from the girl with the brother who is trying hard to deal with tracking waste).
I don't know, there is quite a big difference between water and a 33 kiloton nuke when it comes to what you shove down a hole.
I know back in the day everyone thought nuclear technology was the key to America's energy problems, just didn't know they went this far.
Do not back up. Severe tire damage.