New Junk Science Claims PA Fracking Leads to Premature Births

junk scienceIn January 2014, anti-drilling “researchers” jumped the gun at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association in Philadelphia by announcing “preliminary” results of research in which they claim they can show a connection between shale drilling and low birth weights in newborn babies in Pennsylvania (see Another Flawed Fracking/Health Study Emerges…from Economics Conf). The “researchers” quickly walked back the announcement they made at the conference because, well, because they hadn’t actually done the research yet (see Researchers Backpedal on Bloomberg Story about Fracking & Babies). Another group of “researchers” claims to have done the research (same set of data) and published a new study along the same lines last week in the journal Epidemiology. The conclusion? The closer you live to shale drilling activity in PA, the more likely your baby will born prematurely. The study, called “Unconventional Natural Gas Development and Birth Outcomes in Pennsylvania, USA,” was partially funded by the ultra-liberal Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and subjected to a sham peer review process to give it the veneer of respectability…

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