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Letters to the Editor

Fracked gas health hazard

| Sunday, May 28, 2017, 9:00 p.m.

Nicole Jacobs' letter “Fracked gas health boon” claims a health boon from fracked gas. She cites only her gas-funded report and ignores hundreds of independent, peer-reviewed published articles.

Here are headlines from just three examples:

• “There's a World Going on Underground — Infant Mortality and Fracking in Pennsylvania”

• “Unconventional Gas and Oil Drilling Is Associated with Increased Hospital Utilization Rates”

• “Birth Outcomes and Maternal Residential Proximity to Natural Gas Development in Rural Colorado”

Fracking is not improving public health. Air-quality gains touted by this gas-industry employee occurred because inefficient, dirty, coal-fired power plants were retired, not because of fracking.

Gas power plants annually release millions of pounds of hazardous waste, e.g., nitrous oxides and volatile organic carbons, that trigger ozone and together scar lungs.

We will get better air and health when coal and gas workers shift to the renewable energy industry. This is happening elsewhere — in Illinois, where a clean jobs bill brings 32,000 safe, reliable jobs in energy efficiency and renewables, and in Kentucky, where Toyota uses biogas from sewage for manufacturing.

We can get all our energy from biogas, wind, water, solar and geothermal by 2030, and each year save thousands of premature deaths now caused by fossil fuels, such as fracked gas.

Cynthia Walter

Hempfield

The writer holds a doctorate and is a biology professor at St. Vincent College in Latrobe.

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