Activists opposed to responsible shale development have seized on an as-yet-unreleased U.S. Geological Survey report as "proof" that the hydraulic fracturing process causes the earth to shake off its axis. The problem, though, is that the U.S. Geological Survey didn't actually make that link.

Last month, the journal of the National Ground Water Association published a paper suggesting that the vertical transport of contaminants from deep shale formations to near-surface aquifers is not only plausible, but likely – all because of hydraulic fracturing. It’s an explosive thesis, to be sure – but one that’s also fatally flawed; very good news for those of us who actually live here in upstate New York.