Policy & Critical Issues Blog

Stay up to date on issues at the intersection of geoscience and society with our Policy & Critical Issues blog posts from the AGI Geotimes blog.

An earthquake-resistant pipeline crossing the San Andreas Fault at Cholame, California. Image Copyright © Michael Collier http://www.earthscienceworld.org/images
On Thursday and Friday, December 1-2, the National Academies' Roundtable on Unconventional Hydrocarbons held a workshop on Unconventional Hydrocarbon Development: Legacy Issues, Induced Seismicity, and Innovations in Managing Risk. The meeting brought together experts from industry, academia, state and federal agencies, and environmental organizations to assess recent and potential future developments in understanding, monitoring, and mitigating the risks associated with oil and gas production. Click “Read More” for...
Welcome to December! Here’s what’s new from the Critical Issues Program: We have renovated the Case Studies section of our website, which you can now browse and search much like the Frequent Questions and Maps & Visualizations pages. In addition to case studies from past AGI publications, we have posted 12 new case studies from the U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. These data-rich case...
Screenshot of video update on seismic activity in Kansas.
We have a brand new update on last year's webinar, Induced Seismicity in the Midcontinent. One of our speakers, Rex Buchanan, former State Geologist of Kansas, has returned to provide us with an update on seismic activity in Kansas. You can watch the short video on YouTube here: http://bit.ly/2flI6Ed
Mountain Pass Rare Earth Mine, California. This mine dominated global rare earth element production from the 1960s to the 1980s. Although it still contains significant reserves, it closed in 2015 due to competition from China. Credit: Dan Cordier, USGS
On Monday November 14, the National Academies' Committee on Earth Resources held a meeting on Mineral and Energy Resource Issues for the Coming Decade. The meeting covered a wide range of issues and focused on the scientific and technical advances and challenges that will affect mineral and energy resources in the near future. Click "Read More" for some key takeaways:       Current projects in mineral and energy resources at the National Academies include: A study of occupational exposure to coal mine dust in underground mines A...
Screenshot of a graphic showing the Cascadia Subduction Zone
On Thursday November 10, The National Academies' Board on Earth Science and Resources and the Committee on Seismology and Geodynamics held a joint meeting on The Cascadia Subduction Zone: Science, Impacts, and Response. The meeting provided a forum for the discussion of progress and future directions in the monitoring, modeling, measurement, mitigation, and communication of earthquake and tsunami risk in the Pacific Northwest. Click “Read More” for a summary of some key takeaways.   •  Enormous earthquakes up to magnitude 9 or higher, and accompanying tsunamis, have struck the Pacific...
#MapOfTheDay! Today the Critical Issues Program (@AGI_GeoIssues) shared an interactive map of coal mines in Iowa from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (@IowaDNR), which you can find at http://bit.ly/23DKXga. For information about coal...