Economic crisis could stop citizens from voting: As countless political polls try to predict how voters are being swayed, those polled may not be allowed Algorithm proves voter ID law's discriminating intent January 24, Inthe Texas state legislature passed a bill requiring that residents present certain types of identification before being allowed to vote.
The Future of Natural Gas Natural gas emits 50 to 60 percent less carbon dioxide CO2 when combusted in a new, efficient natural gas power plant compared with emissions from a typical new coal plant [ 1 ].
Emissions from smokestacks and tailpipes, however, do not tell the full story. The drilling and extraction of natural gas from wells and its transportation in pipelines results in the leakage of methane, primary component of natural gas that is 34 times stronger than CO2 at trapping heat over a year period and 86 times stronger over 20 years [ 3 ].
Whether natural gas has lower life cycle greenhouse gas emissions than coal and oil depends on the assumed leakage rate, the global warming potential of methane over different time frames, the energy conversion efficiency, and other factors [ 5 ].
One recent study found that methane losses must be kept below 3. And if burning natural gas in vehicles is to deliver even marginal benefits, methane losses must be kept below 1 percent and 1. Technologies are available to reduce much of the leaking methane, but deploying such technology would require new policies and investments [ 7 ].
Burning natural gas does produce nitrogen oxides NOxwhich are precursors to smog, but at lower levels than gasoline and diesel used for motor vehicles. DOE analyses indicate that every 10, U. Reductions in these emissions translate into public health benefits, as these pollutants have been linked with problems such as asthma, bronchitis, lung cancer, and heart disease for hundreds of thousands of Americans [ 9 ].
However, despite these benefits, unconventional gas development can affect local and regional air quality. Exposure to elevated levels of these air pollutants can lead to adverse health outcomes, including respiratory symptoms, cardiovascular disease, and cancer [ 11 ].
One recent study found that residents living less than half a mile from unconventional gas well sites were at greater risk of health effects from air pollution from natural gas development than those living farther from the well sites [ 12 ]. Land use and wildlife The construction and land disturbance required for oil and gas drilling can alter land use and harm local ecosystems by causing erosion and fragmenting wildlife habitats and migration patterns.
When oil and gas operators clear a site to build a well pad, pipelines, and access roads, the construction process can cause erosion of dirt, minerals, and other harmful pollutants into nearby streams [ 13 ].
Water use and pollution Unconventional oil and gas development may pose health risks to nearby communities through contamination of drinking water sources with hazardous chemicals used in drilling the wellbore, hydraulically fracturing the well, processing and refining the oil or gas, or disposing of wastewater [ 15 ].
Naturally occurring radioactive materials, methane, and other underground gases have sometimes leaked into drinking water supplies from improperly cased wells; methane is not associated with acute health effects but in sufficient volumes may pose flammability concerns [ 16 ].
The large volumes of water used in unconventional oil and gas development also raise water-availability concerns in some communities.
Groundwater There have been documented cases of groundwater near oil and gas wells being contaminated with fracking fluids as well as with gases, including methane and volatile organic compounds. One major cause of gas contamination is improperly constructed or failing wells that allow gas to leak from the well into groundwater.
Cases of contamination have been documented in Ohio and Pennsylvania [ 17 ]. Another potential avenue for groundwater contamination is natural or man-made fractures in the subsurface, which could allow stray gas to move directly between an oil and gas formation and groundwater supplies.
In addition to gases, groundwater can become contaminated with hydraulic fracturing fluid [ 18 ]. In several cases, groundwater was contaminated from surface leaks and spills of fracturing fluid. Fracturing fluid also may migrate along abandoned wells, around improperly sealed and constructed wells, through induced fractures, or through failed wastewater pit liners [ 19 ].
Surface Water Unconventional oil and gas development also poses contamination risks to surface waters through spills and leaks of chemical additives, spills and leaks of diesel or other fluids from equipment on-site, and leaks of wastewater from facilities for storage, treatment, and disposal.
Unlike groundwater contamination risks, surface water contamination risks are mostly related to land management and to on- and off-site chemical and wastewater management.
The EPA has identified more than 1, chemical additives that are used for hydraulic fracturing, including acids notably hydrochloric acidbactericides, scale removers, and friction-reducing agents. Only maybe a dozen chemicals are used for any given well, but the choice of which chemicals is well-specific, depending on the geochemistry and needs of that well [ 20 ].
Large quantities — tens of thousands of gallons for each well — of the chemical additives are trucked to and stored on a well pad.
If not managed properly, the chemicals could leak or spill out of faulty storage containers or during transport. Drilling muds, diesel, and other fluids can also spill at the surface [ 21 ]. Improper management of flowback or produced wastewater can cause leaks and spills.
There is also risk to surface water from deliberate improper disposal of wastewater by bad actors.EPA's Study of Hydraulic Fracturing and Its Potential Impact on Drinking Water Resources. Contact Us; Record Unavailable.
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Home >> Sleep News >> Study: Physical Activity Impacts Overall Quality of Sleep People sleep significantly better and feel more alert during the day if they get at least minutes of exercise a week, a new study concludes. As Stanford University moves ahead with a proposal to build more than 2 million square feet of academic space by , it continues to face calls from community members who believe the university.
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