Geological issues in the 2014 election
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In the past several years, some energy technologies that inject or extract fluid from the Earth, such as oil and gas development and geothermal energy development, have been found or suspected to cause seismic events, drawing heightened public attention. Although only a very small fraction of injection and extraction activities among the hundreds of thousands of energy development sites in the United States have induced seismicity at levels noticeable to the public, understanding the potential for inducing felt seismic events and for limiting their occurrence and impacts is desirable for state and federal agencies, industry, and the public at large. To better understand, limit, and respond to induced seismic events, work is needed to build robust prediction models, to assess potential hazards, and to help relevant agencies coordinate to address them.The report concludes that "Of all the energy-related injection and extraction activities conducted in the United States, only a very small fraction have induced seismicity at levels noticeable to the public (that is, above magnitude 2.0)." [Right, sites with earthquakes caused by or likely caused by various energy technologies. Figure 1 from the report. None are reported in Arizona.]
Chronic exposure to arsenic (As), by contamination of drinking water from natural geological sources, is a significant worldwide environmental health concern , . As many as 25 million people in the United States are exposed to As at levels above the current EPA standard from private, unregulated wells, and worldwide the estimated exposure is several hundreds of millions of people. Chronic exposure to such elevated levels has been associated with a variety of adverse health impacts in human epidemiology studies, including various cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and developmental/reproductive effectsThe article was based on studies on mice, but Wired.com helped put it in perspective in an interview with the articles lead author, Jack Hamilton, who said, "Arsenic is the number one environmental chemical for human health."