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Posts Tagged ‘fracking’

Fracking and My Community’s Air Quality: Is There Something in the Air?

with Daniel Tormey, Ph.D., P.G.; Technical Director, Cardno ENTRIX

Los Angeles, California

If you’ve been following the discussion of pollution risks around the unconventional oil and gas development that has been enabled by hydraulic fracturing and other technologies, then you’ve probably heard a lot about water contamination risks. These risks are certainly worth discussing, but discussion of air pollution risks also deserves some attention. We want to take the time to talk about air quality concerns—not just because this is where Gretchen’s past interests lie—but also because current research suggests there may be real risks from air pollution near oil and gas activities. Read More

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Is Fracking Safe? What Science Can and Cannot Tell Us About Risk

Citizens around the country are concerned—with good reasons—about how unconventional oil and gas development (commonly the entire development process is referred to as “fracking”) will affect them and their families. As we learned at the recent UCS Center for Science and Democracy’s Branscomb forum, Science, Democracy, and Community Decisions on Fracking, people want to know the facts. What are the benefits of development? What are the risks? How will my community change? But for many, the concerns ultimately boil down to the most pressing of the questions:

Is fracking safe? Read More

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Survey Says? Forum Attendees Shed Light on the Public’s Discussion on Hydraulic Fracturing

Following the Center for Science and Democracy’s second successful Branscomb forum this past July, Science, Democracy, and Community Decisions on Fracking, we released a toolkit to help communities become more actively engaged on this important issue: Science, Democracy, and Fracking: A Guide for Community Residents and Policy Makers Facing Decisions over Hydraulic Fracturing. Read More

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A Change We Didn’t See Coming: Hydraulic Fracturing and Sand Mining in Wisconsin

Guest Bogger

Marcia Bjornerud, professor of geology
Dept. of Geology, Lawrence University

Appleton, WI

If someone had told me 10 years ago that the rural landscape just west of my home in Appleton would be stripped down and shipped to states throughout the country, I never would have believed it. In fact, no one here in Wisconsin could have imagined that there would ever be much industrial demand for the honey-colored Cambrian sandstones that crop out in a wide swath across the middle of the state. There were a few quarries that supplied sand for foundry molds, but since foundries can reuse sand many times, these local operations had little effect on the landscape. Wisconsin’s sandstones had only two major ‘uses’: acting as groundwater aquifers and defining the shape of the distinctive chimney rocks and castellated mounds of the state’s scenic, never-glaciated Driftless Area. Read More

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Science, Democracy and Fracking: Not All Is As it Seems – a Correction

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the importance of obtaining better information in order to make better choices concerning the impacts of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” In fact, the role of science in informing the public, the media, and policy-makers as we make societal choices in our democracy is of enormous importance—not because science is the sole determinant of what choice we should make, but because it must help ground our decisions in what we know about the world we live in. Read More

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No Proven Case of Water Contamination?

We have all heard the oft-repeated statement from proponents of unconventional oil and gas development that “hydraulic fracturing does not cause water contamination.” It has come up in relation to controversies over EPA studies in Pavillion, Wyoming, and, most recently, Dimock, Pennsylvania. It has even come up at congressional hearings, where senators were distracted from the more important issue of contamination by the difficulty of pinning down expert witnesses on a simple definition of their terms — whether so-called “fracking” refers to a specific step in the process of extracting oil and gas or more broadly to all of the operations and activities involved. Read More

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The President Touts Natural Gas as an Important Climate Solution: How Far Can it Take Us?

The President’s climate plan is an important start for reducing carbon and other heat-trapping emissions from human activities that are driving climate change. One of the key components of his plan is directing the EPA to complete carbon standards for new and existing power plants, which could help transition the power sector away from coal to natural gas and other cleaner sources like renewable energy and energy efficiency. Read More

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What Do Food and Fracking Have in Common? We Need Information to Make the Best Choice

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel that I spend a lot of my time in stores trying to read the ingredients and nutritional information on package labels. And it can be bewildering, not just because of the tiny print. But I also know that reading those labels impacts what I eat – even if my choices are not always the best, at least I had a chance to consider the content. Read More

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Pennsylvania High School to Host Bizarre Swim Meet – in Fracking Fluid

In what one concerned parent is calling “outrageous,” the Pennsylvania Department of Environment is allowing two eastern Pennsylvania high schools to stage a bizarre boys swim meet this coming Friday—in a swimming pool filled with fracking fluid.

The event is being held to demonstrate the safety of the fluid, a byproduct of the oil and gas extraction method of hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as fracking. Some politicians have pulled similar scientifically questionable stunts to reassure the public that fracking fluid is benign. Governor John Hickenlooper (D-CO), for example, went so far as to drink a glass of the fluid in 2012. Read More

Categories: Science and Democracy  

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