NPR has been running a series of stories about the alleged horrors of hydraulic fracturing, relying mostly on anecdotal reports about health impacts to say there “isn’t an answer” to questions about whether the wells are emitting hazardous levels of pollutants (news flash: there is an answer, it’s just not convenient to folks who want to write scary stories.)
Nonetheless, one of NPR’s segments actually let the cat out of the bag, specifically in reference to the town of Dish, TX (which was featured in Gasland and was also where Dr. Al Armendariz made his infamous “crucify” comments). From NPR (emphasis added):
Quite a few of the 225 people who live in Dish, Texas, think the nation’s natural gas boom is making them sick.
They blame the chemicals used in gas production for health problems ranging from nosebleeds to cancer.
And the mayor of Dish, Bill Sciscoe, has a message for people who live in places where gas drilling is about to start: “Run. Run as fast as you can. Grab up your family and your belongings, and get out.”
But scientists say it’s just not clear whether pollutants from gas wells are hurting people in Dish or anywhere else. What is clear, they say, is that the evidence the town has presented so far doesn’t have much scientific heft.
It’s truly amazing the kinds of conclusions one will reach when relying on scientific facts.