Washington, D.C. — In response to the release of the eight-month investigation ‘Fracking the Eagle Ford Shale’ by InsideClimate News, The Center for Public Integrity and The Weather Channel that found very dangerous air pollution and widespread health impacts, Americans Against Fracking released the following statement from John Armstrong of Frack Action on behalf of Americans Against Fracking.
“The 8-month ‘Fracking the Eagle Ford Shale’ investigation by Pulitzer Prize winning journalists reveals that fracking is literally poisoning the air children and families breathe. Polluted with toxic chemicals like hydrogen sulfide and benzene, air poisoned by fracking is entering homes, daycare centers and schools throughout entire regions. This investigation and the hundreds of complaints build on an already significant body of science showing that fracking inherently poisons the air and threatens people’s health. For the sake of our health and the wellbeing of our communities, fracking must be banned.”
“In addition to the health concerns from the toxic and carcinogenic chemicals spewed into the air, fracking and drilling also release significant amounts of greenhouse gases that threaten to exacerbate climate change. As a number of major recent studies have determined, fracking is disastrous for the climate.”
InsideClimate News link: http://insideclimatenews.org/fracking-eagle-ford-shale-big-oil-bad-air-texas-prairie
The Center for Public Integrity link: http://eagleford.publicintegrity.org/
The Weather channel link: http://stories.weather.com/fracking
Additional recent evidence about fracking and air pollution:
Based on three years of monitoring, a Colorado School of Public Health study found air pollutants near fracking sites at levels sufficient to raise risks for cancer, neurological deficits and respiratory problems.
American Lung Association data show worse air quality in intensely fracked rural areas than in urban areas. The American Lung Association has joined the New York State Medical Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics of NY and hundreds of medical experts, scientists and health organizations in calling for a moratorium and comprehensive health impact assessment.
Tests at fracking sites in West Virginia revealed dangerous levels of air contaminants, prompting the health department administrator to warn, “the levels of benzene really pop out… The concerns of the public are validated.” In Texas, air-monitoring data in the Eagle Ford Shale area reveal that residents could be exposed to dangerous levels of air pollution, including both benzene and hydrogen sulfide gas.
Medical experts at a single rural clinic in Pennsylvania documented health problems in 20 individuals likely caused by airborne exposures to emissions from nearby fracking operations.
Recent evidence about fracking and climate change:
As the New York Times recently reported, a major study in the journal Science by Stanford, MIT and the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory researchers found that methane leaks negate benefits of natural gas as a fuel for vehicles and that the EPA is significantly underestimating methane leak rates.
The New York Times also recently reported that a major study led by Harvard found that the EPA is significantly underestimating methane discharges from oil and gas production. That study followed updated Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change measurements finding that methane is even worse for the climate than previously thought: Over a 100-year time scale, methane is 34 times more potent in the atmosphere than CO2; over 20 years, 86 times more potent.
A recent major study spearheaded by Stanford University’s Energy Modeling Forum concluded that fracking and the shale gas revolution will have no long-term climate benefit.
Two National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration studies (here and here) of methane emissions from oil and gas drilling in Colorado and Utah found emissions at levels very damaging to the climate.
A November 1 memorandum of recent science from 15 environmental and health organizations: www.tinyurl.com/frackingscience
Resources from Concerned Health Professionals of New York: http://concernedhealthny.org/documentation/
Resources from Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy: http://www.psehealthyenergy.org/site/show_list/id/13