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Saturday, Feb 28th

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WikiLeaks cables show that it was all about the oil

It's all about oilThe communication, part of the cache of State Department cables that WikiLeaks passed to McClatchy and other news organizations, is just one indication of how the U.S. government over the years has maneuvered to influence the world's oil and natural gas markets.

With oil trading near $100 a barrel and gasoline near $4 a gallon at the pump, Americans can take solace in knowing that securing sources of oil has been a chief focus of U.S. embassies across the globe for years.

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Weeks of protests planned against Keystone XL pipeline

Trans Canada pipelineThousands of opponents of a $7 billion pipeline that would boost U.S. dependence on Canadian oil sands plan to get arrested in protests over the next two weeks that they hope will help persuade the Obama administration to kill the project.

The State Department is set to issue a final environmental impact report this month on the Keystone XL pipeline project that would bring oil sands petroleum from Alberta to Texas refineries. The department hopes to make a final decision on the TransCanada Corp line by the end of the year.

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U.S. advisory group on fracking has abundant ties to energy industry

US advisory group has ties to energy industryAll but one member of a government advisory panel weighing the safety of one of the most contentious forms of energy development, known as fracking, have financial ties to the natural gas industry, scientists and some environmental groups are asserting. The scientists called for the ouster of its chairman, former CIA director John Deutch, who sits on the boards of two energy-related companies.

The group, which reports to Energy Secretary Seven Chu, is concluding that development of shale gas can be done safely provided that companies fully disclose the chemicals used in fracturing liquids, and that they face monitoring of their activities and rigorous standards for emissions of airborne contaminants.

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Olivia Newton-John joins fight to stop fracking

Olivia Newton-JohnOlivia Newton-John is the latest celebrity to take on the powerful mining industry over environmental issues. Newton-John, the United Nation's Goodwill Ambassador for the Environment, risks a ''Carbon Cate'' backlash over her public opposition - outlined today in The Sunday Age - to a controversial method of extracting natural gas from coal seams.

Newton-John is concerned about the use of hydraulic fracturing - known as ''fracking'' or ''fraccing'' - which injects huge volumes of water, sand and chemicals deep into shale rock to release gas for commercial use.

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Fracking Operations Cause Thousands of Earthquakes in Arkansas

SeismographGeologists say fracking wastewater disposal wells in central Arkansas caused an outbreak of thousands of minor earthquakes.

The Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission placed a ban on fracking wastewater wells in the area yesterday. A moratorium on well activity had been in place for months as geologists investigated a possible link between fracking activity and the outbreak of more than 1,200 earthquakes that measured lower than 4.7 in magnitude.

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Exxon Mobil Profit Soars 41% on Higher Oil Prices

ExxonExxon Mobil Corp.'s second-quarter profit jumped 41% on high oil prices and improved refining and marketing results.

Exxon, the world's largest publicly traded oil company by market value, joined rivals ConocoPhillips, BP PLC and Royal Dutch Shell on reporting skyrocketing profits that echoed the record earnings oil companies posted before the financial collapse in 2008, when oil traded above $147 a barrel.

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New Yorkers Beg for Another Blackout!

What’s the problem? Hmm, how can I put this without becoming abusive? To put it mildly, the shop owners and managers are helping to screw up the planet, strain the grid and drive up YOUR electric bills by keeping the demand for electricity artificially high (it's called supply and demand.) I have been saying this for years, but I think after experiencing the power outage of August 14th, 2003, my message may hit home with greater impact. (It did not...that is why this is being republished!)

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