Energy in Depth Rips Into Another "Frack Attack"

EID doesn't buy CSPH report
According to the Colorado School of Public Health, there are significant health risks associated with living close to a natural gas and oil development site - especially if fracking is involved.  The report garnered quite a bit of attention and generated a few ominous media headlines.  In response, Energy in Depth points out how risky it would be to take CSPH's study conclusions at face value.

In a recent post, EID attempts to tear the report released by CSPH to shreds by pointing out eight inputs used as a basis for conclusions which are "egregious" and "cast serious doubt on the results produced by the modeling exercise."  I'll summarize the post here, but you can read it yourself, along with the actual CSPH report, and reach your own conclusion about whether or not the study really does give valid reason to be concerned if you live near a drilling site.

The eight inputs that EID points to as serious problems in the report are:


  1. Out of date emissions data
  2. The time estimated for drilling and completing a well (when emissions into the air are the highest) was inflated by as much as 900 percent
  3. Misleading statement of the small cancer risks; the numbers listed sound like they could be high, when in reality they show that the risk for someone exposed to the air near a drilling site is the same or even well below the risk for the entire U.S. population
  4. The report based conclusions on the idea that a resident stays in their county 24 hours a day, 350 days per year, for 70 straight years (Is Garfield County kind of like Seahaven Island from The Truman Show?)
  5. Failed to account control for other variables; for example, samples to test for benzene in the air were taken from areas closer to major highways than the ambient control samples, meaning the results were bound to be skewed because benzene is most prevalent from vehicle emissions
  6. The report itself admits that there really is no significance to the comparison of someone living less than 1/2 mile from air emissions or more than 1/2 mile from emissions, which increases the uncertainty of the results
  7. CSPH did not communicate or work with local environmental officials on the report
  8. CSPH claims that Garfield County asked them to assess the potential health impact of the wells, but Garfield County's chief environmental health official, Jim Rada, says "We didn't ask them to do this paper."

To find more details about all of this, check out the report and EID's response.  Then discuss how you feel about the potential hazards of the air near natural gas drilling sites here at The Daily Digger.


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