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TS Radio: Voices Carry for Animals # 23

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painyJoin Debbie this evening December 9, 2014 at 7:00 pm CST! More

The ‘Cross-Your-Fingers’ Public Health Strategy

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strip bannernew-logo25By Jane M. Orient, M.D.

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Maybe the country that claims to have the “best healthcare system in the771f56fe-dbad-11e3-9707-22000a98b2af-medium world” can get away with ignoring basic public health strategies that have worked for centuries. Perhaps we can say, “It can’t happen here.” After all, Ebola seems to have gone away, as epidemics do—sooner or later.

Some apparently even think that we can save the rest of the world by providing a safety valve for hot zones, right into American airports and schools.

Yet we may not be all powerful. Here is the word from top public health officials about some 400,000 cases of chikungunya, which is sweeping through the Caribbean and Latin America: “We can only keep our fingers crossed—painful as that might be for many people infected with chikungunya—that the Caribbean epidemic will decline and the virus will depart from the Western Hemisphere.” So write David M. Morens, M.D., and Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., of the Arboviral Diseases Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the Sept 14, 2014, issue of The New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Fauci’s name is familiar from his pronouncements on Ebola. More

Monster Wells: Despite Drought, Hundreds of Fracking Sites Used More Than 10 Million Gallons of Water

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Monster Wells

Despite Drought, Hundreds of Fracking Sites Used More Than 10 Million Gallons of Water

By Soren Rundquist, Landscape and Remote Sensing Analyst & Bill Walker, Consultant
Former EWG Staff Attorney Briana Dema and former EWG Stanbeck Intern Elizabeth Kerpon contributed to this report.


When it’s confronted with the growing concern about the vast volumes of water used in hydraulic fracturing of gas and oil wells, industry tries to dodge the question.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) points out that drilling wells with hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technology, commonly called “fracking,” consumes far less water than other commonplace activities such as raising livestock, irrigating crops or even watering golf courses. According to the Institute, the amount of water used to frack one natural gas well “typically is the equivalent of three to six Olympic swimming pools.”1

That amounts to 2-to-4 million gallons per well of a precious and, in many parts of the country, increasingly scarce resource.2 For its part, the Environmental Protection Agency says it takes “fifty thousand to 350,000 gallons to frack one well in a coal bed formation, while two-to-five million gallons of water may be necessary to fracture one horizontal well in a shale formation.”3

But data reported and verified by the industry itself reveal that those “typical” amounts are hardly the upper limit. An analysis by Environmental Working Group reveals that hundreds of fracked gas and oil wells across the country are monster wells that required 10 million to almost 25 million gallons of water each. More

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