A new paper by the Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy (PSE), released today in Environmental Health Perspectives says that fracking is not safe. It bases this conclusion on the unscientific claim that fracking contaminates groundwater: “Studies suggest water contamination risks exist through a variety of environmental pathways.” This claim simply parrots the assertions of big green activist groups such as the Sierra Club: “Fracking… is known to contaminate drinking water,” and Food & Water Watch: “Fracking threatens the air we breathe, the water we drink, the communities we love and the climate on which we all depend.”
This isn’t a surprise, as PSE is – for all intents and purposes – an activist organization itself, ignoring science and reality to call for a transition to a 100 percent renewable energy economy. (Currently renewable energy from wind and solar power makes up 5 percent of our energy use.)
The paper focuses on cataloging hypothetical risks rather than pointing to specific instances of contamination in particular drilling operations. That’s convenient, considering the former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson recently testified, “In no case have we made a definitive determination that the fracking process has caused chemicals to enter groundwater.”
The scientific consensus, led by the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, Government Accountability Office (GAO), U.S. Geological Survey, and numerous top scientists from MIT, Stanford, University of Texas, etc., is clear: there is no conclusive evidence that fracking contaminates groundwater. It doesn’t matter how frequently or loudly big green groups such as PSE, Sierra Club, and Food & Water Watch make claims to the contrary.