We find ourselves rather gasping in amazement at this particular complaint:
The shale bonanza has also brought environmental headaches and raised concerns about whether the companies have disadvantaged poor people by drilling wells in low-income areas and exposing them to dust and traffic as well as air and water pollution.
In a letter last month, the Center for Coalfield Justice, the Pennsylvania chapter of the Sierra Club and the Clean Air Council asked the state’s Office of Environmental Justice to give the public more say in the permitting of wells. The groups believe the industry may be choosing drilling sites that disproportionately affect low-income and minority residents.
We positively want people to go and drill in low income areas.
Think it through for a moment. Fracking requires the use of land. Not so much the land that is actually being fracked, it's possible to drill for several miles underground. But there must be somewhere to put the rig itself, a pad for it. That is a cost to the process of course. We would thus expect people who are doing this efficiently to place such rigs and such pads where land is cheap in order to gain access to the desired underground reserves.
Low income people tend to live where land is cheap. Thus rigs will preferentially be where people are low, not high, income.
Imagine, for a moment, that we were to frack underneath London (no, we won't, the geology is entirely wrong). Would we place our rig in Mayfair in order to access that gas under central London? Or in Vauxhall?
Quite. The complaint is that people are being sensible. Which really is a stunning thing to complain about, isn't it?