Author Of Anti-Fracking Study Had Financial Ties To Green Activists

(REUTERS/Larry Downing)

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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The authors of a recent anti-fracking study have close personal and financial ties to anti-fracking groups.

The study, published late last month, is entirely based on the debunked idea that proximity to oil and gas development is negatively impacting public health. It’s lead author, Dr. Anne Epstein, acknowledges she has been paid to give anti-fracking lectures.

Epstein has repeatedly worked with a local anti-fracking activist group, had her work endorsed by The Sierra Club, which opposes most natural gas drilling, and is a member of an organization that recommended a “de-facto” ban on fracking.

Epstein has even helped organize an anti-fracking workshop which featured panels like “How to Get Better Media Coverage,” “Do-It-Yourself Environmental Sampling,” and “The Medical Case Against Fracking.” Major anti-fracking activists, such as Sharon Wilson, openly endorsed and helped advertise the workshop.

The energy industry group Energy In Depth found much of the research cited by the study inflated the health risk of fracking by a factor of 900 percent. Energy In Depth even determined most of the research the study cited was financed and produced by other anti-fracking activists.

Regulatory authorities concur with the energy industry, as shown by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s statement that “[t]he concentrations of various compounds are comparatively low and are not likely to raise significant health issues of concern.”  Numerous state regulatory agencies acknowledge fracking does not pose a threat to public health and is likely even improving it as increasing use of natural gas prevents the release of other air pollutants.
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