The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health has identified silica dust inhalation as a health hazard for workers around fracking operations, based on observations at well pads. Can this dust affect community members too?
We shouldn't ignore environmental concerns in order to focus entirely on economic concerns. Not only does this ignore the relationship between these two issues, it also puts short-term profits ahead of long-term goals. This is the same strategy which created the economic meltdown.
New York's four-year effort to assess the safety of the controversial gas drilling practice known as fracking is broken. To fix it, the state must either declare a ban on fracking, or extend the moratorium now in place while it addresses the fundamental flaws.
Continuing the moratorium against fracking in New York State does not mean that New York's only option is to use more coal. The question must be whether fracking harms the health of community members, not whether fracking is less dangerous than coal.
Are you confused by the debate over fracking? I'm not surprised. The public debate is complex, angry, boisterous, a mix of science intertwined with politics, and complicated by a lack of information (or even intentional disinformation) on all sides.