Details typical flaws in economic impact studies used by industry to promote shale gas development , including inflated economic multipliers, unrealistic assumptions about in-state spending (and thus positive in-state economic impacts, ignored costs, and out-dated methodologies.
Details flaws and misrepresentations in the State of New York’s analysis of the socioeconomic impacts of allowing drilling and fracking for shale gas in the state, with a particular focus on projected job creation.
Shows how numerous flaws, characteristic of industry-backed shale gas job projections, led to one projection being a 900 percent exaggeration of the number of new jobs that allowing drilling and fracking for shale gas would create for New Yorkers.
Examines BLS employment data for five counties in Pennsylvania, and five adjacent counties in New York, to demonstrate that the impact on net employment is minimal from drilling and fracking for shale gas.
According to computational modeling, methane leakage during shale gas extraction and processing offsets the benefits in carbon dioxide emissions of replacing coal-fired electricity generation with natural gas fired generation.
Study found that 25 percent of chemicals known to have been used in fracking fluids are implicated in cancer; 37 percent could disrupt the endocrine system; 40 to 50 percent could cause nervous, immune and cardiovascular system problems; and more than 75 percent could affect the skin, eyes and respiratory system, resulting in problems like skin and eye irritation or flu-like symptoms.
Analysis of Arkansas inspection records from gas drilling sites revealed widespread violations of the state’s clean water standards, lack of adherence to companies’ own best management practices, and inadequate enforcement to ensure water protection.
Report cites example of water well contamination by hydraulic fracturing fluids, and importantly states that investigation of other suspected cases of contamination was thwarted by the sealing of legal settlements between landowners and drilling companies.
N.B.: 1987 report had been buried and forgotten until an Environmental Working Group report published August 3, 2011, in conjunction with a New York Times story.
- Horwitt, Dusty. Environmental Working Group. “Cracks in the facade: 25 years ago, EPA linked ‘fracking’ to water contamination.” August 3, 2011.
- Urbina, Ian. “A tainted water well, and concern there may be more.” New York Times. August 3, 2011.
The published study found that shale fracking could have a greater effect on climate change than coal and oil over the life cycle of its production.