British study: Fracking is indeed a “low risk to public health,” so can we please get started already?
posted at 2:01 pm on November 1, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
The United Kingdom is in an absolute uproar over the major spike in gas and electricity prices with which they will be faced this winter, but despite Brits’ dramatically rising energy bills and the 1,300+ trillion cubic feet of natural gas the British Geological Survey estimates they are currently living on top of just waiting to be tapped, vehement opposition from their factions of determined eco-radical has been standing in the way of any exploratory drilling.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has thrown his whole-hearted support behind hydraulic fracturing, promising to help build generous provisions into the tax code to help encourage natural gas development, in the hopes of spurring an Americanesque shale oil and gas boom replete with lots of jobs and lower electricity prices. None of that has much helped to quell the local anti-fracking protests centered around the wildy exaggerated claims that the decades-old drilling technique can cause groundwater pollution and earthquakes, and unfortunately, I doubt this will calm their hysteria either — but perhaps it will do some extra good with the general public, via Reuters:
The risks to public health from emissions caused by fracking for shale oil and gas are low as long as operations are properly run and regulated, the British government’s health agency said on Thursday.
Public Health England (PHE) said in a review that any health impacts were likely to be minimal from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which involves the pumping of water and chemicals into dense shale formations deep underground. …
Since there is currently no fracking in Britain, the PHE report examined evidence from countries such as the United States, where it found that any risk to health was typically due to operational failure.
“The currently available evidence indicates that the potential risks to public health from exposure to emissions associated with the shale gas extraction process are low if operations are properly run and regulated,” said John Harrison, director of PHE’s center for radiation, chemical and environmental hazards.
No kidding. Self-proclaimed environmentalist types need to wrap their heads around the fact that, sure, any and every form of energy comes with risks and tradeoffs, but in the case of hydraulic fracturing, these risks are minimal and can be safely contained with innumerable trickle-down benefits. The basis of their argument is based off of their collective gut reaction against bringing more fossil fuels into the commercial world, but the renewables that Britain’s eco-radicals are promoting in fracking’s stead are leading to skyrocketing energy prices all over the rest of Europe and are losing support in the midst of these ongoing tough economic times. It’s time to get on board with fracking.