Top Five Enviromentalist Myths About Fracking

fracking operationThe Environmental Protection Agency’s comprehensive study on environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is set to be released in the near future, and environmentalists are groaning that it’s tainted with oil and gas industry influence.

Why the complaining? It’s likely environmental groups know something about the report the general public doesn’t — namely, it probably takes a more favorable view of fracking than activists would like.

The potential loss of the EPA in their anti-fracking campaign probably has environmentalists scrambling to rehash their stance on the well-stimulation process. Too bad for them they’ve already made some pretty ridiculous claims about fracking.

The Daily Caller News Foundation has taken the liberty of listing the top five most ridiculous anti-fracking claims here:

1. Fracking Causes Earthquakes

Environmentalists have been quick to blame the recent uptick in earthquakes in Oklahoma on fracking. Activists have been making the claim for years, but recently found “evidence” showing fracking was causing earthquakes in Ohio.

The jury’s still out on that one, and if fracking is causing earthquakes in general. But recently, the U.S. Geological Survey says Oklahoma’s earthquakes are from wastewater disposal into injection wells, not fracking itself.

2. Your Water Will Be Poisoned

Probably the most powerful image of fracking is when the film “Gasland” shows tap water being lit on fire by a match. The film, and environmentalists, say methane from fracking is leaking into water and causing faucets and hoses to ignite. But really?

A new scientific paper debunked claims of methane ruining water. The paper “found no statistically significant relationship between dissolved methane concentrations in groundwater from domestic water wells and proximity to pre-existing oil or gas wells.”

Sorry, dudes. As it turns out methane occurs naturally in water supplies throughout the country. Especially in Pennsylvania where much of the state sits on top of, well, huge pockets of natural gas.

3. Watch Out, You’ll Get Cancer

Filmmaker Josh Fox of “Gasland” again makes unsubstantiated claims about fracking, this time claiming that an area atop Texas’s Barnett Shale saw “a rise in breast cancer throughout the counties.”

Turns out that, like in “Gasland,” Fox wasn’t exactly telling the truth. Medical experts told The Associated Press Fox’s claims were “a classic case of the ecological fallacy.”

“David Risser, an epidemiologist with the Texas Cancer Registry, said in an email that researchers checked state health data and found no evidence of an increase in the counties where the spike supposedly occurred,” the AP reported. “And Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a major cancer advocacy group based in Dallas, said it sees no evidence of a spike, either.”

4. Fracking Will Make You A Drug Addict

Probably not grounded in any factual basis. But if we’re gonna be blaming something for rampant drug addiction, I’d argue that hearing these claims creates more drug addicts than fracking ever could.

In 2013, liberal media outlets pushed an article by Vice saying that “with the heavy drilling machinery that is hitting the United States’ one horse towns are workingmen with an insatiable appetite for raw sex and hard drugs.” “The use of meth is also on the rise in fracking boom areas,” Vice reported.

5. Rape? STDs?

Not sure if this one even merits a response, but here I go.

This is the most ridiculous claim made by anti-frackers to date. I mean, rape? Really? They’re comparing a method of well-stimulation regulated by governments and done with the consent of landowners to coerced sexual acts. That’s a pretty stupid comparison — not to mention, insensitive.

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    Gator

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    As to #1, in one of my college level geology classes, we studied an incident at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, that strongly suggests fracking-like activities can ’cause’ minor earthquakes. But the reality is they do not ’cause’ quakes, rather they release the fault’s existing pressures, and this is not a bad thing!

    What is theorized is that this ‘lubrication’ allows faults to move more often, thus reducing the chances of a ‘big one’.

    Geologists have looked into using a similar technique to reduce the size of dangerous quakes in areas like the San Andreas Fault Zone.

    http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/states/colorado/history.php

    I would say that #1 is actually a side benefit of fracking.

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