5. Increased Crime and Arrests
With no real ties to the community, transient natural gas workers seem to have less respect for their temporary homes than long-time residents and cause more trouble. Once fracking started in their towns, law enforcement officers reported a 17% boost in disorderly conduct arrests.
Indeed, a lot of this misbehavior can be chalked up to alcoholism. Bored workers in these small town environments with time to kill and money to spend often turn to booze. “We definitely do drink a lot,” said one natural gas worker. Though local taverns experience a financial boom, they also see a spike in bar brawls. Moreover, as the rate of drunk driving increases, communities become less safe. Officers report a 12% jump in public intoxication arrests in fracking communities, as well.
7. Sexual Assault
Since fracking became so popular in North Dakota, the influx of male workers has made the state have one of the largest single men to women ratios in the country. In the fracking towns specifically, there are 20% more single men than available women. This radical disparity leaves the male population craving female attention and acting out in all of the wrong ways. Affected areas see spikes in sexual assault cases and women report feeling unsafe, harassed and followed while in public.
8. Sexually Transmitted Infections
Natural gas employees may leave it all behind to strike it rich in a fracking town, but one thing that they tend to inadvertently bring with them are STIs. Rural Pennsylvania hospitals found that rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea increased by over 30% after fracking came to their communities. That’s a 60% higher rate than the infection rate for non-fracked areas over the same period. It looks like the sex isn’t any safer than the drinking water.
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