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Tuesday, Jul 22nd

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Republicans in Congress Are Trying to Gut Local Fracking Regulations

fracking regulationsCapitol Hill on Tuesday was home to a rare sight: House Republicans preparing a bill they say will strengthen the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency.

But a coalition of public health experts, environmentalists, and state officials argue that the bill, called the Chemicals in Commerce Act, is a Trojan horse that would kneecap state rules on toxic chemicals across the country without giving the Environmental Protection Agency any authority to pick up the slack. Opponents of the Chemicals in Commerce Act warn that the bill would weaken oversight of fracking fluids in particular, as these are almost exclusively regulated by state agencies.

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Bluegrass natural gas pipeline project suspended indefinitely

blueegrass pipelineA few months after one pipeline through Muskingum County was completed, another pipeline project was suspended indefinitely.

The Bluegrass pipeline, which would transport natural gas liquids from shale-producing areas in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania to the northeastern U.S., was postponed by a year in March, said Sara Delgado, spokeswoman for Williams, one of the companies behind the project.

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Lynchburg, Va., oil train derailment illustrates threat to rivers

Lynchburg oil train explosionAs Pat Calvert steers a small motorboat over the James River, it’s impossible to not notice the smell of motor oil, and it’s not coming from the boat.

Two days after a CSX train derailed and put three tank cars full of crude oil into the river, Calvert, who keeps tabs on the Upper James River for the James River Association, is only beginning to survey the spill’s impact. Wednesday’s derailment spared the town from catastrophe, but not the river.

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Carbon Dioxide Highest in Human History

carbon dioxide levelsThere's striking new evidence that Earth's atmosphere is increasingly saturated with carbon dioxide, the major gas from fossil fuel emissions that trigger climate change.

Measurements of the climate-changing gas by instruments high on a mountain in Hawaii and around the world show that global emissions from burning fossil fuels rose last month to levels higher than at any time in human history - and higher than it has been in hundreds of thousands of years.

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Geophysicists link fracking boom to increase in earthquakes

Fracking linked to earthquakesThe swarm of earthquakes went on for months in North Central Texas, rattling homes, with reports of broken water pipes and cracked walls and locals blaming the shudders on the fracking boom that’s led to skyrocketing oil and gas production around the nation.

Darlia Hobbs, who lives on Eagle Mountain Lake, about a dozen miles from Fort Worth, said that more than 30 quakes had hit from November to January.

“We have had way too many earthquakes out here because of the fracking and disposal wells,” she said in an interview.

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Greenpeace activists block Russian tanker, arrested

Greenpeace activistsDutch police arrested 44 Greenpeace activists attempting to stop a Russian oil tanker from unloading its cargo of arctic oil in Rotterdam.

Armed anti-terrorist police boarded the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior and made the arrests. Although the ship was towed ashore and those arrested were taken to several Rotterdam police stations, the activists were quickly released. Several were members of the “Arctic 30” who were arrested in Russia in 2013 and jailed for over two months on piracy charges.

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Major fire, explosion after train carrying crude oil derails in Lynchburg, Virginia

Virginia train fireA train carrying crude oil derailed and crashed in downtown Lynchburg, Va. Wednesday, evacuating the immediate downtown area as it was seen billowing with extreme smoke and fire.

The city says no injuries have been reported from the explosive crash around 2 p.m. EST near The Depot Grille which reportedly dumped crude oil into the James River.

Lynchburg police and fire personnel were actively at the scene while advising residents to stay out of the downtown area. City officials also say that the city's drinking water has not been affected by the spill.

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