New Study Claims Marcellus Drilling Causes Serious Health Issues

junk scienceA new research study appearing in an online “journal” with very low standards, PLOS ONE, claims that hydraulic fracturing leads to an increase in hospitalization rates in the Marcellus Shale region. The research study, titled “Unconventional Gas and Oil Drilling Is Associated with Increased Hospital Utilization Rates” (full copy embedded below) on the surface appears to contain damning evidence. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University looked at hospitalization records for three northeastern Pennsylvania counties from 2007-2011–Bradford, Susquehanna and Wayne. Both Bradford and Susquehanna counties have seen a huge amount of shale drilling over that period. Wayne County, on the other hand, has seen no shale drilling because of the intransigence of the Delaware River Basin Commission and their ongoing frack ban. The researchers say that people in Bradford and Susquehanna counties go to the hospital for serious heart conditions at a rate 27% higher than those in Wayne County. Ergo, there is a connection between fracking and health issues. We are fully in favor of rigorous academic research into issues like this one. But a few things bother us about this latest “fracking kills” study…

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