Colorado’s Top Doctor: Fracking Has No Health Concerns

(REUTERS/Larry Downing)

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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Colorado’s top medical official Dr. Larry Wolk told a local newspaper that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, doesn’t have any adverse health effects, as it doesn’t expose people to enough toxins to be harmful.

“Nobody would argue that this stuff isn’t toxic, but it’s all about exposure to toxins, and we don’t see anything to be concerned with at this point in time,” Wolk, the chief medical officer of the state’s Department of Public Health and Environment, told The Greeley Tribune.

Wolk, a practicing physician once voted Colorado’s pediatrician of the year, cited state health data to The Tribune that found the areas of Colorado with the most fracking don’t have higher rates of health conditions. In some cases, rates of health conditions are actually even lower than those reported where little or no fracking occurs.

“Time and again the science has shown that hydraulic fracturing is safe and Dr. Wolk’s observations reinforce that point,” Chris Warren, a spokesperson for the pro-industry Institute for Energy Research, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “All things considered, hydraulic fracturing has actually been a benefit to public health because affordable, reliable energy is crucial for a healthy and prosperous society. At its core, the anti-hydraulic fracturing campaign isn’t about public health at all. It’s about cutting off access to our country’s resources, making energy more expensive, and undermining economic growth. It’s a morally bankrupt movement.”

Environmentalists repeatedly claim that fracking can contaminate groundwater supplies and cause health issues. However, numerous scientific studies from regulatory bodiesacademics, the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Science Foundation and even the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that fracking does not contaminate groundwater. Even studies that were financially supported by environmentalists found fracking has no adverse effect on water quality.

Environmentalists responded to previous studies that did not find groundwater contamination with total denial, saying “millions of Americans know that fracking contaminates groundwater and for the EPA to report any differently only proves that the greatest contamination from the industry comes from its influence and ownership of our government.” Major environmental groups such as The Sierra Club still claim “fracking has contaminated the drinking water of hundreds of thousands of Americans.”

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