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Does the potential yield of Marcellus Shale overlook the possibility of deadly accidents?

Since 2008, the Marcellus Shale has been a hotbed of activity for fracking, drilling and mining. The region is located in the Mid-Atlantic states and covers most of the Appalachian Basin up to New York state. Its lands have produced billions of barrels of oil and massive quantities of natural gas and other by-products.

But the drilling and mining of the earth’s natural resources does not come without a cost, much of which is typically borne by the land and its delicate ecosystem. But there is also a human cost to these mining and fracking efforts.

Deaths linked to mining, fracking

According to a study with findings published in Nature Sustainability journal two years ago, at least one thousand deaths can be linked to carbon dioxide emissions and the fracking industry. Companies can become so greedy to disembowel the earth for its minerals and other bounties that a certain number of human casualties become acceptable in the industry.

But when it is your loved one or your own health in peril, those numbers are anything but acceptable. There is no doubt that fracking and mining bring welcome jobs and economic bounty to a region that has been struggling for generations. No one wants to see the mining companies pull up stakes for greener pastures and bring further financial collapse to the region.

Safety must remain foremost

When companies put their workers and the residents of Appalachia at great risk of illness, injury or death without reason, they must be held accountable for their callous disregard for worker safety. After a mining or fracking accident that causes injuries and devastation, victims must take legal action to receive the compensation they deserve for these losses.

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