Frack This

I do hope that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo runs for president in 2020, and further that he is the Democratic nominee. He appears determined to make upstate New York into  the East Germany of America by his intransigent refusal to allow fracking to produce natural gas, thus keeping shale gas-rich upstate New York from enjoying the same kind of prosperity as western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio. Cuomo’s anti-gas bias extends to using state power to block natural gas pipelines intended to serve New England that have received federal approval. So lots of New Englanders will have continue using more expensive and higher polluting fuel oil for winter heat.

I hope Cuomo runs on his anti-gas stance: he’ll lose Pennsylvania and Ohio for sure; possibly Colorado, too, and likely New Hampshire and maybe even Massachusetts and Maine.

The scientific case against all the anti-fracking claims of the environmental/Hollywood left continues to collapse more fully than an undercooked soufflé. The latest piece of evidence is a report from Resources for the Future, a centrist environmental group that is one of the oldest environmental organizations in the country, founded way back in 1947 by Fairfield Osborn, who was actually a Malthusian alarmist, thus making today’s RFF a curiosity in that is perhaps the only environmental organization that moved away from the left over its history.

RFF has conducted a thorough review of the academic literature on the health effects of unconventional oil and gas production (which mostly means fracking) and passes along these key findings:

  • We review 32 studies that cover health impacts such as birth outcomes, cancers, asthma, and other health effects, including migraines and hospitalization.
  • We find that though many epidemiological studies used robust statistical methods to estimate changes in health outcomes associated with unconventional oil and gas development, all had weaknesses and many had significant shortcomings.
  • Due to the nature of the data and research methodologies, the studies are unable to assess the mechanisms of any health impacts (i.e., whether a certain impact is caused by air pollution, stress, water pollution, or another burden).
  • Even where good evidence is offered for a link between unconventional oil and gas development and health, the causal factor(s) driving this association are unclear.
  • Though we do not see strong evidence of impacts in the literature, a lack of data or rigorous analysis does not rule out the potential for any effects.

You can read or download the complete study here.

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