Some Of This Actually Makes Sense

On December 12, a website called Energy in Depth posted an article about some of the negative claims made about shale drilling in Pennsylvania. At this point, it might be a good idea to note that much of the negative information published about fracking has been funded by Saudi Arabia. Might it be that American energy independence is a threat to the middle east monopoly of energy?

At any rate, the article reports:

  • There was no identifiable impact on death rates in the six counties attributable to the introduction of unconventional oil and gas development. In fact, the top Marcellus counties experienced declines in mortality rates in most of the indices.”
  • “The proportion of elderly-to-total population increased significantly in the top Marcellus counties compared to the state. Based on this fact, death rates in these six counties would be expected to increase, but this expected increase did not occur.
  • Unconventional gas development was not associated with an increase in infant mortality in the top Marcellus counties, as the mortality rate significantly declined (improved), even surpassing the improvement of the state.”
  • “Unconventional gas development was not associated with an increase in deaths related to chronic lower respiratory disease (including asthma) in the top Marcellus counties, as the overall chronic lower respiratory disease mortality rate declined (improved) or was variable for the six-county area. The only exception was Greene County where the increased mortality rate was consistent with the increase in the elderly population.”
  • “During the period that unconventional gas development was introduced to these counties, the trends reflected a positive economic change in the area. Therefore, any increases in the death rates in the top Marcellus counties cannot be associated with negative changes to the economic viability of the population.”
  • “Unconventional gas development was not associated with an increase in deaths related to cancer, heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, influenza or pneumonia, nephritis or nephrotic syndrome, or septicemia in the top Marcellus counties, as the mortality rates significantly declined (improved).”

The article reminds us that the money brought into the community through the development of natural resources actually increased the longevity of the citizens as the average household income and employment in these counties improved. In a nutshell, people with more disposable income often eat better and get better healthcare. That may not be fair, but that is the way the world works.

The article concludes:

The new report adds to the growing body of research that shale development is protective of public health, and has led to reductions in local air pollution.

The full report is available here. Mickley (Study author Sue Mickley) also recently discussed the report on Shale Gas News. Click here to listen to the interview.