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Posts Tagged ‘science-based decision making’

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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EPA’s Remarkable New Air Pollution Monitors (I’m like a Kid in a Candy Store)

To a scientist, having new data to study is like a child having a new candy store to explore. With the EPA’s release of new air pollution rules, I’ve just learned of the Willy Wonka Factory of data in my field of study. The rules require new air quality monitors near major roadways in US cities. The new data will ultimately help us better protect from harmful air pollutants the millions of Americans who live, work, and play close to major roads.

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Climate Reality Must Win Out Over Political Attacks on Science

This summer’s heat has been brutal. A surprisingly early June heat wave broke records in the Western United States. The heat sent people to emergency rooms and stoked wildfires that destroyed homes and lives. Europe and Asia have suffered recent dangerous heat waves, too.  Wildfire season in the U.S. West—fueled by extreme heat and water stress—is nearly two months longer than in the 1970s. Read More

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Fracking or Hydraulic Fracturing? What’s in a Name?

A few weeks ago, I was telling my mother about the work I do here at UCS’s Center for Science and Democracy. “We’re putting together a forum next month about recent developments in natural gas and oil extraction and public access to information, “ I said, “It’s called Science, Democracy, and Community Decisions on Fracking.” Read More

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Preparing for Our Future: The Need for Monitoring and Data Collection

Last week I attended the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Science Policy conference with this year’s theme of “Preparing for our Future.” The second annual conference seeks to bridge the gap between science and policy (a mission UCS strongly believes in). I learned a lot of new information about policy on diverse scientific topics—from ocean acidification to carbon sequestration to asteroids impacting Earth—but one thing I learned really took me by surprise. Read More

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