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Pennsylvania fracking-related jobs numbers questioned

Tom CorbettFacing a daunting re-election year, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has been touting his all-out support for natural gas drilling as a job creator in his state.

But economists and environmentalists are questioning Corbett’s claim that the industry props up more than 200,000 Pennsylvania jobs. They say that the governor’s administration has greatly inflated the number, and that it may be getting lower every day.

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Colorado First State to Clamp Down on Fracking Methane Pollution

Colorado methane lawsThe Colorado Air Quality Control Commission has approved landmark rules to reduce air pollution from oil and gas drilling, including the nation’s first-ever regulations designed to detect and reduce methane emissions.

The ruling concluded a five-day public hearing that began Wednesday at the Aurora Municipal Center.  The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Air Pollution Control Division initiated the process more than a year ago.

On top of the methane restrictions, the approved rules include controls on smog-forming pollution.

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Oil spill closes Port of New Orleans, 65-mile stretch of Mississippi

OIl spill closes Port of New OrleansU.S. Coast Guard said the source of an oil spill was secured but 65 miles of the Mississippi River including the Port of New Orleans remained closed Sunday.
The Coast Guard said in a news release the oil spill occurred Saturday when a barge collided with another vessel near Vacherie, between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

"Lightering operations on the damaged barge concluded early Sunday morning and the source of the spill was secured," the release said. "Oil spill response vessels and recovery equipment are deployed in the river."

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Exxon Mobil CEO: No fracking near my backyard

Rex TillersonExxon Mobil's CEO has joined a lawsuit to stop construction of a water tower near his home that would be used to in the fracking process to drill for oil.

While fracking -- hydraulic fracturing of rock to release pockets of oil -- has raised complaints from environmentalists around the country, Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson's opposition to a project in his own neighborhood is interesting, given how deeply Exxon Mobil is involved in the process.

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Supreme Court Climate Case Looks At EPA's Power

supreme courtIndustry groups and Republican-led states are heading an attack at the Supreme Court against the Obama administration's sole means of trying to limit power-plant and factory emissions of gases blamed for global warming.

As President Barack Obama pledges to act on environmental and other matters when Congress doesn't, or won't, opponents of regulating carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases cast the rule as a power grab of historic proportions.

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Plutonium detected half-mile outside New Mexico nuclear waste facility

plutonium detectedFour days after a radiation alert shut the nation’s only underground nuclear waste facility, an independent monitoring center said Wednesday it found radioactive isotopes in an air sensor about a half mile from the southeastern New Mexico plant.

A filter from a monitor northwest of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad had trace amounts of plutonium and americium, said Russell Hardy, director of the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center.

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Law allowing Keystone pipeline in Nebraska struck down

Nebraska pipeline lawThe controversial Keystone XL pipeline hit another obstacle Wednesday when a judge struck down a Nebraska law that allowed the oil pipeline to cross the state.

Lancaster County Judge Stephanie Stacy issued a ruling that invalidated Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman's approval of the route. Stacy said the law unconstitutionally gave the governor authority to approve the route and to allow the oil pipeline company to seize land via eminent domain from Nebraska landowners.

Stacy, siding with three landowner plaintiffs, said authority rests with the Nebraska Public Service Commission, which regulates pipelines and other utilities. His ruling bars Heineman from using the law to advance the pipeline.

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