NY Post Hypes Fracking Over 20 Times Since January 2011, Rarely Mentions Risks


The New York Post, the New York-based daily newspaper run by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., has published 21 opinion pieces on the controversial process of natural gas extraction called hydraulic fracturing (or 'fracking') since January 1, 2011.* Many of the op-eds on fracking attack Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) or "enviro-radicals" for not acting faster to cash in on the economic benefits associated with domestic drilling. In addition, the Post almost always fails to acknowledge the health and environmental risks associated with fracking -- when it does, it immediately dismisses the dangers, despite ample evidence to the contrary. For example:

The fact is, fracking has proved not only to be a fundamentally safe undertaking, it has delivered immense economic benefits to localities across America.

New York is the only state in the nation where it is not allowed -- and that needs to change.

The fear-mongering nihilism that has marked the debate so far needs to end - and, at the very least, it's up to Cuomo to accelerate the current review.

And here:

Indeed, not only would New York become a major new source of relatively clean energy - natural gas; the move is also sure to spawn a whole new industry for economically sclerotic Upstate, generating thousands of jobs.

That's what's happened elsewhere in the country where fracking is allowed - including, notably, neighboring Pennsylvania, where tens of thousands of workers have found jobs at companies that employ the process.

Alas, in New York, enviro-radicals got then-Gov. David Paterson to ban the process, pending further study.

They claim that fracking can taint drinking water. Hyperbolic media reports and films like the pseudo-documentary "Gaslands" further fueled public fears.

Yes, there have been fracking accidents -- but no lasting damage, and no harm has been done to water supplies.

Contrary to the Post's assertions, there have been a host of environmental problems associated with fracking. Wyoming is dealing with both groundwater contamination and air pollution, Ohio and Oklahoma have seen earthquakes potentially associated with fracking, and groundwater contamination has affected wells in Pennsylvania and other areas around fracking wells.

The Post also gets its facts wrong when it comes to states that have banned fracking. In Feburary, New Jersey's Republican Governor Chris Christie imposed a one-year ban on the practice in New Jersey, stating, "Potential environmental concerns with fracking in our state must be studied and weighed carefully against the potential benefits of increasing access to natural gas in New Jersey."

As Media Matters has previously noted, in their fervor to promote fracking, the Post has even gone so far as to hide the industry funding of fracking studies in their editorials.

* The Media Matters analysis was conducted by doing a Nexis search for the terms "hydraulic fracturing" or "fracking" and analyzing the number of times one or both of those terms was used in an opinion piece published by the Post.

Posted In
Environment & Science, Drilling
New York Post, News Corp.
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