Victor Davis Hanson’s unabashed cheerleading for fracking (“Fracking industry deserves our gratitude,” July 10) is a piece that deserves debunking.
Nationwide, fracking has caused documented cases of water contamination and toxic air pollution. The wastewater generated by this dirty process causes earthquakes, and frequent spills have led to serious soil and groundwater pollution. Hanson conveniently ignores it all.
He also fails to mention numerous studies showing a link between fracking and adverse health effects, such as the Colorado School of Public Health’s research finding increased rates of birth defects for newborns of mothers living near fracked wells. Such harms are borne not by the folks in the ivory towers of Hanson’s employer, Stanford University, but primarily by low-income communities of color. The nonprofit FracTracker found that 92 percent of the 1.8 million Californians living within a mile of an oil and gas well are people of color already overburdened by pollution.
And while fracking and fossil fuel production push us closer to irreversible climate change, Hanson bemoans that oil companies cannot drill in more places. Protecting our health and planet requires keeping oil and gas in the ground and moving toward sustainable energy. Fracking has no place in that future.
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Hollin Kretzmann, Center for Biological Diversity, Oakland