Environmentalists hoping to have a "smoking gun" for a health effect due to the hydraulic fracturing -- fracking -- process in obtaining fossil fuels, were disappointed that a three-year investigation yielded nothing.
Only in environmental activism does a null result finding the public being completely safe lead to sadness, but there you have it.
At the February Carroll County Concerned Citizens meeting, Dr. Amy Townsend-Small, the lead researcher for the University of Cincinnati Department of Geology, released the results and said, “We haven’t seen anything to show that wells have been contaminated by fracking.”
A local town meeting? Where was the University of Cincinnati press release trumpeting this exhaustive testing of 115 samples from drinking water wells and two from springs over a period of years?
“I am really sad to say this, but some of our funders, the groups that had given us funding in the past, were a little disappointed in our results. They feel that fracking is scary and so they were hoping this data could to a reason to ban it,” she replied when asked why there was no publicity.
Townsend-Small must have tenure. No one without security from political blowback would be so refreshingly honest.
Who were those funders? One of them was the National Science Foundation, so it seems odd that the results would not be released when the NSF publicly claims to be against politicization of science.
You can read our peer-reviewed examination of the fracking issue here, because unlike the University of Cincinnati, we separate health threats from health scares, and we don't bury studies that exonerate science and technology from blame.