Update on Study that May/Might/Possibly Show Stressors from Drilling

In September MDN told you about a newly published study that purports to evaluate potential “stressors” on streams from unconventional (i.e. shale) oil and gas drilling–including drilling in the Marcellus/Utica (see New Study Evaluates Stressors on Streams from Shale Drilling). As we said at the time, the study appears to be real science as opposed to the usual political science that passes for real science. The one great negative, in our opinion, is that it was published in a non-peer reviewed journal that publishes a lot of “fracking will kill you” bull–PLOS ONE. The study has popped back up in the news once again. We find it interesting that newspapers run this headline–“Study indicates gas drilling can impact rivers, streams”–and a few paragraphs into the story, one of the lead authors of the paper says this: “What we’ve developed is a predictive model…We have not proven anything about whether shale gas development is affecting streams or not.” You always see lots of “cans” and “maybes” and “mights” and “possiblys” when it comes to anti-drilling mainstream media. How about sticking to “does” and “will” and “proven” instead? In other words, let’s have some hard science instead of theoretical science. Prove your statements. Do some in-the-field research. Here’s the latest update on a study that “may” indicate “some” problems with shale drilling…

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