Fracking: A risk to health, and healthy returns

Fracking: A risk to health, and healthy returns by David Shearman, June 18, 2012, reneweconomy
There is now growing evidence of international investor concern over some health impacts of fracking in shale gas mining. An alliance of 200 institutions – which control more than $20 trillion of assets worldwide – is expressing concern over fugitive emission from gas mining and the potential impact on climate. This further exposes Minister Moore’s recent action in WA on blocking community discussion on health risks from CSG [coal seam gas or coal bed methane] mining as irresponsible; it also disregards the increasing international concern over the investment risks of unconventional gas mining DEA had been invited to present health information at the country meetings in WA organised by the National party prior to Minister Moore’s intervention. … The report then falls back on the inevitable promise of technological solution. Even if this comes to pass there are no solutions to possible health impacts on water. … [If] the science and potential health impacts continue to be ignored by Minister Moore and his likes and if human impacts occur then there is surely a lever for community class action. … In its press release Doctors for the Environment Australia considers the current level of assessment, monitoring and regulation of unconventional gas exploration and mining in Australia to be inadequate. DEA supports a precautionary approach in this setting and recommends a moratorium on unconventional gas extraction until safety has been established by thorough, transparent and impartial analysis. Potentially serious health risks to the community may result from; industrial scale water consumption, water contamination; air pollution, particularly by volatile organic compounds and methane; and the production and management of large quantities of toxic liquid waste, as well as long-term and cumulative impacts on freshwater aquifers. A report from DEA to the Senate Submission 203 has detailed these potentially serious health risks to the community.

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