New York officials have again put off a decision on whether to allow hydraulic fracturing in the shale-gas-rich state, saying more research is needed to determine the public health effects.
It’s wise to ensure that fracking — which enables the extraction of gas and oil trapped underground — doesn’t pose unnecessary social, economic or health risks. Unfortunately, much of the research to date has been tainted by conflicts of interest — real and imagined — that have colored findings to provide ammunition for supporters or opponents.
Can one more study provide unquestionable evidence that fracking is safe? It’s doubtful. Already environmental groups are agitating over New York Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens’s rejection of an independent health study in favor of one done by the state’s health commissioner.
Rather than wait for absolution, policy makers should allow drilling to proceed under strict regulation and supervision. READ THE ENTIRE EDITORIAL HERE.