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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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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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Megacities contend with sinking land

sinking landSubsiding land is a bigger immediate problem for the world's coastal cities than sea level rise, say scientists.  In some parts of the globe, the ground is going down 10 times faster than the water is rising, with the causes very often being driven by human activity.

Decades of ground water extraction saw Tokyo descend two metres before the practice was stopped.

Speaking at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly, researchers said other cities must following suit.

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Newfoundland Oil rigs moved due to iceberg threat

Oil rigs movedThe province's offshore regulator sent a short tweet to signal some big movements at sea on Sunday.

The C-NLOPB, or Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, said two large oil rigs were taking evasive action against some equally massive structures off the east coast of Newfoundland.

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