Fracking is a dangerous piece of pipeline

Published 7:43 pm Saturday, November 5, 2016

To the editor:

This December, a ruling will be submitted by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, with regulations preventing or permitting the creation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

This pipeline would run through three states, causing irreparable damage, some of which would be caused by the fracking needed to put the pipeline in.

One of my main issues with hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is how it affects our health. According to a study done by the NRDC, titled “Reduce Fracking Health Hazards,” fracking has been linked to health problems such as asthma and neurological and cardiovascular conditions.

In communities near drilling sites, instances of hospital admissions and premature mortality has increased, with people being admitted for diseases ranging from asthma to heart attacks. The cause? Pollutants used in hydraulic fracking.
The people who live closest to natural gas wells or the open-air pits used to store waste effluent are the most vulnerable. Without our consent, we are breathing air filled with pollutants and being forcibly exposed to an unhealthy amounts of toxins and carcinogens, leading to a higher lifetime risk of cancer.
Industry uses a one-sided economic benefit as an excuse to continue allowing this to happen. That benefit never considers the impact on people’s health and the costs associated with it, despite definitive links between fracking and health problems.

Brookings Institution, in “The economic benefits of fracking,” points to the fact that with natural gas prices dropping and an increased economic gain for energy consumers, it’s becoming harder for people to stand up against these industries.

However, for me, there is no gain that could be worth the risks that fracking creates.
Recently my aunt passed away from lung cancer. It came as a shock for my entire family; the cancer appeared suddenly and progressed at a rapid rate.

As I sat at her funeral, hearing my family members speak of the woman she was, I couldn’t help but think of how awful a thing it is to experience, watching your brothers and sisters dying in front of you.

Regardless of the “economic” benefit, there is no risk worth the safety of my family and friends.
No matter the economic benefit, fracking hurts everybody. At what cost would you sacrifice your health? What about your family’s? Your friend’s?

Madison Reid

Fredericksburg