They’re talking about the economics of Extraction Debt. Here’s The Atlantic writing about what the new study means:

Excerpt:

The research, published Wednesday in Science Advances, is the largest study ever conducted on fracking’s health effects… The researchers took the birth records for every child born in Pennsylvania from 2004 to 2013—more than 1.1 million infants in total—and looked at the mother’s proximity to a fracking site, using the state of Pennsylvania’s public inventory of fracking-well locations. They used private state records that showed the mother’s address, allowing them to pinpoint where every infant spent its nine months in utero.

They found significant, but very local, consequences. Infants born to mothers who lived within two miles of a fracking well are less healthy and more underweight than babies born to mothers who lived even a little further away…

While birth weight may seem like just a number, it can affect the path of someone’s life. Children with a low birth weight have been found to have lower test scores, lower lifetime earnings, and higher rates of reliance on welfare programs throughout their lives…

‘[Professor Michael Greenstone explained that the costs] were borne by the local communities that lived extremely close to hydraulic fracturing wells. “There’s this interesting trade off between the greater good and what are the costs and benefits for local communities,” he told me.

Read the whole article at The Atlantic