IPPA sums it nicely:
Is fracking a threat to public health?
No. In fact, there is ample evidence that increased natural gas use — made possible by fracking — has improved public health by dramatically improving air quality in recent years. This is not to say there are no risks, but the full body of research on this issue shows that those risks are manageable.
Several state departments of environmental protection have also installed air monitors at well sites and found that emissions during oil and natural gas development do not exceed public health thresholds. For example, the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment released a 2017 report that found a “low risk of harmful health effects from combined exposure to all substances during oil and gas development.” In contrast, many of the most headline-grabbing studies linking fracking to health issues have been plagued by questionable methodologies and contradictory results. Visit EIDHealth.org for more information.
Does fracking threaten groundwater?
No. And, you don’t have to take our word for it. No fewer than two dozen scientific studies have concluded that fracking does not pose a major threat to groundwater. Most notably, a landmark 2016 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study concluded that, “ydraulic fracturing operations are unlikely to generate sufficient pressure to drive fluids into shallow drinking water zones.” The EPA reached this conclusion even after expanding the definition of fracking to include a wide range of other oilfield activities, demonstrating the safety of the entire development process.
It was easy finding university and other governmental studies documenting the safety of fracking, but in the process of searching I came across many supposed studies from anti-gas organizations that, open a superficial basis, read impressively until I looked at the sources and the reviewers. They tend to all be the same people and quote and review each other.
One must understand the difference between activism and science to decipher the difference between the two. I recall, for instance, listening to an anti-gas activist tell Fenton Town Board members here in New York that he was a scientist in the study of natural gas when in fact he was just an another misinformed member of the fractivist movement who collected talking points but was so full of energy that if were electricity, he could power the world. Call it anti-energy. Unfortunately, the voices of such are the only ones Governor Cuomo wanted to hear in 2014. But, that was then, and now the evidence is overwhelming that Governor Cuomo was wrong, Zucker was suckered and Joe Martens was simply a short-term assignment to implement the will of the NRDC.
Time’s up, Governor Cuomo. What are you going to do? When will real science and reason be allowed prevail over your politics?