Climate change-denying, media savvy Phelim McAleer got a warm welcome on Fox & Friends this morning where he was the only guest to discuss a New York Department of Health review about fracking that a Fox banner misleadingly trumpeted as concluding, "It's safe." McAleer also just so happens to have a new pro-fracking documentary coming out.
Host Alisyn Camerota cited the New York review and offered up McAleer an immediate opportunity to swipe at environmentalists by posing this “question:” “Will all of that, do you think, quiet the critics?”
A banner on the screen read TRUTH ABOUT FRACKING: NY DEPT OF HEALTH REVIEW CONCLUDES IT'S SAFE.
McAleer took the bait:
The critics are not anti-fracking. They’re anti-fossil fuels, they’re anti-American, they’re anti-modernity, anti-progress… It’s a coalition of all sorts of extreme greens, celebrity, Hollywood celebrities and oddballs.
McAleer went on to say that fracking, which has been conducted for 50 years, "causes no health problems, it’s safe.”
Well, that’s debatable, to say the least.
For one thing, New York State’s review does not say that fracking causes no health problems. As the New York Times reports, the State says that fracking CAN be done safely. Secondly, the State’s review does not include any assessments of health impact. Also, the Times writes, “The analysis also rejects a broad quantitative risk assessment of fracking — the kind of study that would try to project the probability of various hazards — saying it would 'involve making a large number of assumptions about the many scenario-specific variables that influence the nature and degree of potential human exposure and toxicity.'"
Camerota barely mentioned any of that. Instead, she cited “anecdotal evidence” of farm animals dying “in some places.” However, she did note that there has been criticism of the New York State study as outdated. But instead of doing any research of her own, she relied on the blatantly-biased McAleer in asking whether a new study should be done.
“If you like throwing good money after bad,” he sneered. “We’ve got this vast data out there, report after report. So I think it’s time to stop reporting, stop analyzing and start doing… The analysis has been done, it’s safe.”
Camerota went on to note the famous scene in the documentary Gasland in which tap water was lit on fire. “That was debunked, thanks to you in part,” Camerota announced approvingly, “because you proved that this has been happening for decades and generations long before fracking.”
Not exactly. While it’s true that some water has been flammable in the past, that does not mean that the water in the film was flammable before fracking. Furthermore, ProPublica wrote in 2011 about a scientific study linking flammable drinking water to fracking:
The research was conducted by four scientists at Duke University. They found that levels of flammable methane gas in drinking water wells increased to dangerous levels when those water supplies were close to natural gas wells. They also found that the type of gas detected at high levels in the water was the same type of gas that energy companies were extracting from thousands of feet underground, strongly implying that the gas may be seeping underground through natural or manmade faults and fractures, or coming from cracks in the well structure itself.
Predictably, though, McAleer took Camerota’s opening and ran with it. He claimed that where there is fracking, it’s because there is flammable gas in the ground that comes up naturally, thereby letting the suggestion sit that that is the cause everywhere the water has been flammable. Then he moved on to promote his upcoming pro-fracking movie that supposedly corrects the record.
“Nice tease!” Camerota gushed.
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