Anti-Fracking Researcher Quietly Admits: Studies Show No Harmful Pollutants Near Oil and Gas Sites

The activist who wrote a 2012 memo encouraging anti-fracking groups to connect health problems and fracking even when no evidence existed to support the claims recently co-authored a report admitting that the vast majority of scientific research shows no harmful air pollutants near oil and natural gas sites. As the report explains,

“Air pollution near oil and gas production typically measures in concentrations within healthy air standards…”

Activist researcher and executive director of the openly anti-fracking Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy (PSEHE) Seth Shonkoff and his co-authors analyzed 37 peer-reviewed journal articles on hazardous air pollutants from 2012 to 2018, finding:

“[M]easurements of hazardous air pollutant concentrations near operational sites have generally failed to capture levels above standard health benchmarks; yet, the majority of studies continue to find poor health outcomes increasing as distance from these operations decreases.” (emphasis added)

Notably, where they found research that did capture traces of emissions in ambient air, the research team also conceded that oil and natural gas [ONG] is not the only potential source for these emissions, if it’s actually even the source at all:

“Many of the peer-reviewed studies investigated a broad range of target analytes in ambient air, several of which are ubiquitous in the environment and are sourced not only in upstream ONG operations. … The abundance of formaldehyde detection in ambient collected samples may actually indicate secondary atmospheric formation as the dominant source and not primary emissions released directly from an ONG point source.” (emphasis added)

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