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AIPG Position Statements

USGS Position Statement of Evolution and Earth History
(September 9, 2010)

The American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) has officially adopted the United States Geological Survey (USGS) position statement on the age of the Earth. This statement can be found at the following link: http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/geotime/age.html. The USGS statement explains that the earth is more than 4.5 billion years old based on radiometric dating. It is AIPG's position that the scientific basis for the radiometric age date of the earth is well established and supported through peer reviewed scientific analysis.

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AIPG Position on National Energy Policy
(February 14, 2003)

AIPG encourages the U.S. Government to develop a comprehensive national energy policy and strategies to achieve that policy. The crux of the policy should be to maintain an adequate supply of affordable energy delivered in an environmentally responsible way. The U.S. economy relies on the availability of electricity, heat, and transportation fuels. Our standard of living requires vast quantities of energy resources needed to power our computers and light our buildings, to heat our homes, and to run our vehicles, trains, ships, and airplanes. Our current energy consumption requires significant quantities of domestic and foreign geological resources - oil and gas, coal, and uranium. Hydroelectric power from dams and geothermal, wind, and solar power are locally significant. All the options for energy production have associated environmental and economic concerns and tradeoffs that should be factored into a comprehensive national energy policy. Decreased consumption through conservation and increased efficiency are laudable goals, particularly with an increasing U.S. population, but energy availability will continue to be a major factor in U.S. environmental, economic, and military policies. Geologists contribute to exploration for energy resources; production; environmental protection of ground water and other resources during production; safety of facilities from earthquakes, floods, and other natural hazards; waste disposal; and reclamation of land disturbed during production. A comprehensive national energy policy should incorporate the knowledge of geologists about the domestic and international resource base, environmental concerns, and hazards.

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AIPG Position on Access to Public Lands
(February 14, 2003)

AIPG supports access to public lands, both onshore and offshore, for the environmentally responsible development of energy and mineral resources. The vast extent of public lands, managed by federal and state agencies, contains discovered and undiscovered resources that are vital to maintaining and improving Americans' standard of living and economic security. Existing federal and state laws and regulations assure protection of water, air, biological, and cultural resources such that exploration for and development of energy and mineral resources can be undertaken with little or no long-term environmental impact. Lack of access to the extensive public lands severely restricts development of domestic energy and mineral resources. As well as having adverse effects on the domestic economy and employment, encouraging imports of oil, metals, and other resources has the irresponsible effect of exporting environmental impacts related to development of these resources. As a major consumer of energy and mineral resources, the U.S. should be a world leader in environmentally responsible development of its own resources.

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AIPG Position Statement on Wetlands
(February 14, 2003)

Wetlands are an important natural resource with geological, ecological and economic benefits. Wetlands improve water quality by filtering harmful pollutants from ground water and surface water; they are an important spawning and nursery habitat for fish and other wildlife; they provide recreational opportunities including hunting, fishing, bird watching, and nature photography; and they provide effective natural flood control.

The formation and location of wetlands are due to geologic factors including underlying soil type, topography, geomorphology, and hydrology. Throughout geologic time (measured in millions of years) wetlands have formed, migrated, and disappeared as a result of natural processes. In recent years, artificial wetlands have been constructed to treat water either from remediation systems used to clean up environmentally contaminated sites, or as a component of waste-water treatment systems, or to restore a hydrologic regime.

Geologic understanding is essential to the accurate assessment and evaluation of existing wetlands and to the effective design and construction of artificial wetlands. Therefore, the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) believes that qualified geologists with the appropriate training and experience must be included in an interdisciplinary approach to drafting legislation, regulations, or policies regarding the definition, conservation, or construction of wetlands, as well as the actual investigation, design, and construction of wetlands.

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AIPG Position on Domestic Mineral Resources
(February 14, 2003)

AIPG encourages the U.S. and state governments to facilitate the development of domestic mineral resources in environmentally responsible manners. The U.S. is a major consumer of metals, construction raw materials, fertilizers, industrial chemicals, and other mined materials. These commodities are essential to modern society and our quality of life. Existing state and federal laws protect the environment during exploration, development, and closure of mining operations. Other laws prohibit mineral-resource development on environmentally sensitive land. However, if these commodities are not mined domestically, mines in other countries will meet U.S. demand. Many of these countries do not have environmental protection laws and regulatory programs that are as strong as those in the U.S.; unnecessary environmental degradation takes place in these countries. As global population increases and people throughout the world strive for higher standards of living, demand for mineral resources will increase. Recycling should accommodate some increased demand, but it will likely be able to supply only a small percentage of total needs for mined materials. Geologists contribute to exploration for and production of mineral resources, ground water and air-quality protection, reclamation, and long-term environmental monitoring after closure. State and federal regulators and land managers should use geological expertise to facilitate the permitting process for mineral-resource development.

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AIPG Position on Aggregate Resources and Land-Use Planning
(February 14, 2003)

AIPG encourages all levels of government to consider the availability of aggregate resources in land-use planning. Aggregate resources (sand, gravel, and crushed rock needed for construction of buildings and roads) are mined in every state and in or near almost every community. Tradeoffs exist between the desire to have quarries out of sight and the economic, environmental, and safety costs of trucking their resources long distances from quarries to construction sites. The development of new subdivisions typically eliminates the possibility of mining the underlying aggregate resources. Zoning that precludes quarries can force the mining of more distant and costly resources. Because approximately half of the aggregate mined is used for roads and other government construction projects, taxpayers pay considerably more than they would otherwise need to pay when aggregate resources need to be trucked long distances. Geologists have expertise that is relevant to land-use planning and the development of aggregate resources, including knowledge of where the best resources are, ground water protection, air-quality concerns, and reclamation after mining. AIPG encourages the use of this geological knowledge in land-use planning and land management.

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The American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) was founded in 1963 to certify the credentials
of practicing geologists and to advocate on behalf of the profession.

AIPG represents the professional interests of all practicing geoscientists in every discipline.
It's advocacy & efforts are focused on the promotion of the role of geology and geologists in society.