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Why the Scientific Case Against Fracking Keeps Getting Stronger

FrackingOn the political right, it's pretty popular these days to claim that the left exaggerates scientific worries about hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."

In a recent National Review article, for instance, a Hoover Institution researcher complains that 53 percent of Democrats in California support a fracking ban "despite the existence of little if any credible scientific evidence of fracking's feared harms and overwhelming scientific evidence of its environmental benefits, including substantial reductions in both local and global pollutants."

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Environmentalists split over green group's fracking industry ties

Fracking activists splitIn 2012, when Ohio’s Senate passed a controversial hydraulic fracturing bill that was supported by the oil and gas industry, environmental groups lined up against it, saying it would endanger public health. But during hearings on the bill, it gained one seemingly unlikely supporter: the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), one of the nation’s largest green groups.

The bill supported renewable energy development but it also contained several items other environmental groups said were giveaways to the industry: It allowed fracking companies to keep private the chemicals they used in fracking, changed the required distance for contamination testing around a well from 300 feet to 1,500 feet, and prevented doctors from sharing information that might be considered trade secrets, even if it was in the interest of public health.

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Metro Detroit slammed by historic rainfall, flooding

Detroit floodingLate yesterday afternoon, it started raining hard over much of southeast Michigan.

When it finally let up over 3 hours later, a record-breaking 4.57 inches of rain had fallen at Detroit Metro Airport. Some spots got even more.

According to WDIV meteorologist Paul Gross, it was “one of the heaviest single rainfall totals in Detroit weather history.”

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Toxic Algae Bloom Heading Towards Florida

toxic algaie bloomA toxic algae bloom 1.5 times the size of Rhode Island is heading towards the Florida coast. The algae emits odorless chemicals, which can be harmful to humans and fatal to marine life.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have already received thousands of reports of dead marine life.

Ocean currents are predicted to keep the bloom from reaching the shore over the next couple of days.

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Before the fear of war, fear of fracking in Ukraine

Fear of fracking in UkraineLocals seemed to have consensus on who’s at war: the U.S. and Russia over control of Ukraine, they all agreed. But even now, three months past the day the first shell fell on Slovyansk, they still had trouble comprehending why their green, sleepy hometown still was trapped in this conflict.

Residents of the bombed building remembered how in April, local and Russian-assigned rebel commanders chose to set up the capital for their forces in this town.

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Study: Keystone carbon pollution more than figured

Keyston pipeline pollutionThe much-debated Keystone XL pipeline could produce four times more global warming pollution than the State Department calculated earlier this year, a new study concludes.

The U.S. estimates didn’t take into account that the added oil from the pipeline would drop prices by about $3 a barrel, spurring consumption that would create more pollution, the researchers said.

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Oregon wildfire threatens 740 homes as residents told to evacuate

Oregon wildfiresAuthorities say the wildfire burning in Oregon’s wind-swept Columbia River Gorge has destroyed a home, damaged two others and is threatening 740 more.

Residents of more than 140 homes have been told to evacuate and nearly 600 households have been put on alert in the community of Rowena near The Dalles. The basalt walls of the gorge east of Portland funnel winds that draw wind surfers from afar, but what’s good for recreation gives firefighters fits.

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