Endangering our drinking water for gas and oil is the height of stupidity. Yet that’s what we are doing with projects like the Keystone XL or Dakota Access pipelines. There have been thousands of pipeline leaks in the US in the past five years, and these will leak as well.
Fracking carries special risks. Though the industry proclaims it safe, medical research shows otherwise. Numerous toxins found in fracking fluids and wastewater are linked to cancer and other diseases. Fracking poisons drinking water, though the industry denies it. These songs tell why doctors reject natural gas, considering it “too dirty, too dangerous”.
Damage by the coal industry may be just as bad. The first comprehensive, national study of coal ash pollution, published in 2018, found that “coal plants are poisoning groundwater nearly everywhere they operate,” with arsenic, lithium and other pollutants, all over the United States.
Externalized costs. Pollution, disease, and poisoned water caused by fossil fuel combustion are known in economics as “externalized costs.” This means they are not included in the market price of the fuel. But these turn out to be very high and very real costs. These are, in fact, very costly fuels. And we are all paying the price for using them.