EARTHblog » Alan Septoff

The biased mainstream fracking debate

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By Alan Septoff

August 26, 2013

Yesterday’s Associated Press story about the health impacts of fracking-enabled oil and gas drilling in southwest Pennsylvania inadvertently reveals the bias that underlies much of the “mainstream” fracking debate.

The story covers results from the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project’s study:* fracking-enabled oil and gas development harms the health of residents living nearby.

One might think that a story about fracking’s threat to human health shows how robust the debate is – or even that there’s an environmental bias in fracking reporting.  But one would be wrong.

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Tagged with: fracking, health, associated press, bias

One fracking test does not safety make

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By Alan Septoff

July 19, 2013

The AP today reports that a “landmark” study of one fracked well shows that, over a year’s time, it did not contaminate groundwater.

We’re very glad this is the case, especially for the neighboring community.

But the fact that one well didn’t contaminate groundwater doesn’t prove that fracking is safe.  No one has ever claimed that every instance of fracking pollutes groundwater.  As any statistician worth their salt will tell you, a sample size of one does not a valid study make.

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Tagged with: fracking, groundwater, pollution, testing, safety, national energy technology laboratory

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