- In two communities in Wyoming and Texas where fracking is taking place, between 70 and 80% of residents are experiencing respiratory problems.
- While drilling is often touted as a job-maker for local communities, fully 70% of the industry's workers in Pennsylvania come from out of state.
- The natural gas methane--which is not only deadly to humans but a potent greenhouse gas--has been recorded at asphyxiation levels in some homes near fracking sites.
- High rates of sexual predation--including predation on children--are reported among fracking workers.
- Though Pennsylvania's State Senate insists that a severance tax will drive industry away, Wyoming, with the highest taxes among western states, also has the highest energy production in the U.S. (indeed, it ranks close to the top compared to other energy-producing nations).
On the positive side, some legal battles have been won against the drilling companies, ordinances such as Pittsburgh's are being contemplated by other municipalities, and as evidenced by today's summit, the movement against fracking is growing larger every day.
The chief message I took from today's meeting was the need to learn as much as possible about this issue, and to act on that knowledge in every way imaginable.
I'll be going back tomorrow to continue that process.