Another damning (and thereby encouraging) report about fracking

FrackingDon’t ya’ just love it when even the market forces so cherished by the ideologues on the right tell them that their head-in-the-sand environmental denials are all wet? As we reported last week, ExxonMobil is now calling for strong government action to address the climate change crisis even as members of the Flat Earth Society in places like the Art Pope Empire deny that global warming is occurring or, if they concede it is, that it has anything to do with carbon emissions.

Now, comes word of a similar story with respect to the hyper-controversial oil and gas retrieval technique known as fracking. This is from a recent story in the Triangle Business Journal:

“Fracking can significantly decrease home values, especially in areas that use well water, according to a new study from Duke University.

The study, which was done in Pennsylvania, found that home values decreased by an average of more than $30,000 for homes on well water within about a mile of shale drilling.’

…Our results show clearly that housing markets are responding to homeowners’ concerns about groundwater contamination from shale gas development,’ said Christopher Timmins, a Duke economics professor who specializes in environmental economics, and lead author in the study. ‘We may not know for many years whether these concerns are valid or not. However, they are creating a real cost to property owners today.’”

Ya’ got that fracking fans? Not only are the experts who devote their lives to preserving the planet anti-fracking, so is the genius of the free market. Who would have guessed that people don’t want live where their drinking water will be poisoned with toxic chemicals?

The bottom (and hopeful) line: As with so many disastrous environmental practices, polluter-funded denials can only work so long. It’s too bad that it comes to this, but at some point, the facts on (and, in this case, under) the ground become so obvious that even capital starts to say “no way.” Americans are starting to vote with their feet when it comes to fracking. Let’s hope this powerful trend helps keep this destructive phenomenon out of North Carolina permanently.

[This post has been updated.]

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