Yesterday was the 11th
Shale and Public Health Conference
hosted by the Pa League of Women Voters.
Attendance was very light, perhaps even short of the 70 who registered for in-person, instead of Zoom.
Covid? Perhaps. Conflicting events? Maybe. The ability of people to watch it on
Zoom instead? Could be. People have given up, or don’t really give a frack
anymore? Quite likely.
It was a beautiful, sunny day, but traffic in and out of
Pittsburgh was the worst ever! Free lunch. $12 for parking.
For those who missed it, the entire conference will be
posted online in a few weeks, and I’ll try to follow-up with those video links. Thanks
again to The Heinz Endowments for funding this event.
I was disappointed at the very outset, when the Emcee
delivered her remarks about “more studies are needed” and especially “we don’t
know” about the health impacts of drilling and fracking. Meantime, I could only
think of two good friends who lived near Hickory in the early days of
fracking, with it right next to their homes. Gas wells close-in, spills, gas processing air pollution, a leaky impoundment, contaminated water well, industry shortcuts, lies, deceit. The full M.O.
One friend is undergoing chemo while another has finally had enough,
following 14 months of intense AML (leukemia) treatments that included a bone
marrow transplant and mega chemo. Final Hospice before Christmas appears likely. The health
studies have been done (peer-reviewed and directly on human beings) and the sad results
are in folks! Are we going to wait until everyone in the shale gas patch is
either sick or dead?
I stayed outside the room for the Goldstein spiel, having
heard him soft-pedal the health research too many times in the past, as well as
skipping the Fabisiak presentation, having already recorded a video of
the full report during its initial release at Cal U. months ago, a health study that
was both suspiciously late and grossly incomplete, done by Pitt’s school of
Did you know the CEO of CNX, the one Pa Gov Shapiro just
consummated a deal with, is a member of the Board of Directors of the
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute? He promotes himself online as “a
dissident living in truth, policy provocateur, and media and environmental
group fact checker.” Maybe his workers on frac sites could be the first
to wear radiation exposure badges, as further mentioned below.
As is often the case, there were some speakers you wished
had a full hour to present their findings, and investigative reporter Justin
Nobel was that presenter, on the “Radiation and Waste” panel with Daniel Bain.
The data they presented on all the radiation in shale waste was beyond
alarming, and I even asked Justin what it would finally take for people to actually hear
Bottom line, you cannot properly “treat” or “remove” the
radiation from these massive volumes of shale gas waste, you can only condense
it. Workers are ill-prepared and ill-equipped to protect themselves, and at a
bare minimum, as Dan Bain pointed out, they should wear radiation badges to let
them know, and their bosses (if any really care or will admit the risk) know
when they’ve reached their exposure limit.
Justin Nobel’s book will
be out soon, and it should be every bit as alarming as Rachel Carson’s “Silent
Big Oil’s Dangerous Secret and the Grassroots Fight to Stop It” will be
published in April 2024 and can be pre-ordered here: https://petroleum-238.blogspot.com/
[ I pre-ordered 3 copies for donations to local libraries
ATTACHED: Audio recording of the Bain / Nobel presentation (33-minutes).
On birth impacts, Mary Willis speculated that thallium in
shale waste may have a role. Sandra Steingraber did a quick run through of the 9th Compendium on
, hitting all the high (read: low) points.
There were updates from
Dusty Horwitt of PSR on widespread use of PFAS in fracking… did you know ‘Teflon’ was used
to frac at least one well site in SW Pennsylvania? The abandoned well presentation was quite interesting and alarming.
Two PhD’s from Penn State made up the panel “Fracking and
Water Contaminates” and presented some interesting results on the drastic effects
fracking spills have had on groundwater. I've always said, "If they're drillin they're spillin!"
They are looking for help in doing
more research around impoundments and spill sites, having shown my aerial photo
of the Yeager impoundment during their presentation, as well as mentioning the infamous Carter impoundment near McDonald, PA.