US EPA’S STUDY CONFIRMS WATER CONTAMINATION CAUSED BY FRACKING...

Dec 6, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Melanie Houston  THE OEC.ORG Pictured to the right: A map of existing fracking wells in Ohio. Source: Frac Tracker Alliance The US Environmental Protection Agency’s (US EPA) recently released study of fracking impacts to water clearly refutes the fracking industry’s long-standing claim that “there has not been one single confirmed case of water contamination related to hydraulic fracturing.” In a thorough debunking of the industry’s favorite talking point, US EPA officially confirmed that hydraulic fracturing activities have directly and irrefutably led to cases of water contamination in Southwestern Pennsylvania, Northeastern Pennsylvania, and Killdeer, North Dakota. Below is a brief summary of the findings in each of these areas. It should be noted that US EPA found clear evidence of water contamination in 3 of the 5 case studies explored in the study:...

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THE EPA DOWNPLAYED ITS FINDINGS IN THE STUDY OF FRACKING’S IMPACT ON DRINKING WATER...

Dec 1, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Briefly  GRIST.ORG Stuff that matters for frack’s sake MarcellusCoalition An investigation from Marketplace and APM Reports found that top EPA officials made last-minute changes to a 2015 comprehensive report on fracking and whether the drilling process can pollute water supplies. While the EPA identified many cases of water contamination, the executive summary and press release — the parts of a study that reporters tend to read —  noted that there wasn’t evidence of “widespread, systemic impacts” on drinking water. Early drafts of the study’s news release conveyed greater risk from fracking contamination, but the final version came out with a tamer, more fracking-friendly message: Marketplace Buried in the spin was that the report had identified more than two dozen instances where fracking polluted water resources and hundreds of documented spills that reached soil, surface water, and groundwater. The EPA’s...

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Another Pipeline Bursts Endangering Drinking Water Of 6 Million People – Same Company Behind Dakota Access Pipeline...

Nov 26, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   While most of us are enjoying lower gasoline and natural gas prices these days – a big help to the family budget – it is increasingly difficult to defend the oil and gas industry when it keeps polluting our treasured natural resources. The most recent incident occurred in Pennsylvania, and it involves the same company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline, and which bulldozed ancient Native American burial sites: Sunoco.   A pipeline managed by the company has leaked 55,000 gallons of gasoline into a major waterway, thereby contaminating the drinking water of some 6 million people. The pipeline burst in recent days after heavy rainfall in the area, Natural Blaze reported. The gasoline streamed into Wallis Run, a tributary of the Loyalsock Creek that eventually drains into the Susquehanna River. The leak was detected very early in the...

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Landmark Victory: Monterey Becomes California’s First Major Oil-Producing County to Ban Fracking...

Nov 13, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Environment This victory proves that ordinary citizens can defeat Big Oil’s millions. By Julie Light, Kassie Siegel / AlterNet HOLLYWOOD, CA – SEPTEMBER 18, 2014: Two policemen stand by as protestors display a large banner which reads, “Ban Fracking” during a demonstration in Hollywood, California on September 18, 2014. Photo Credit: Dan Holm/Shutterstock Voters in Monterey County, California’s fourth-largest oil-producing county, have passed Measure Z to ban fracking and other dangerous extraction techniques. The measure won Tuesday with almost 56 percent of the vote, despite supporters being outspent 30 to one by oil companies, including Chevron and Aera Energy. Measure Z also phases out toxic wastewater injection and prohibits new oil wells in the county. Monterey is the sixth county in California to ban fracking. “We congratulate the people of Monterey County for...

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KIDS AND ELDERLY PEOPLE IN THESE 9 STATES SPEND A SCARY AMOUNT OF TIME NEAR FRACKING...

Oct 16, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Samantha Page Climate Reporter at @ThinkProgress. New report shows that 650,000 children nationwide spend their days within a mile of an oil or gas fracking operation. Fracking takes place too close to communities, activists and health reports say. CREDIT: AP Photo/David Zalubowski While the impact of fracking operations on the health of people living nearby was once uncertain, several studies in recent years have found that living near fracking sites — which are known to release carcinogenic compounds, as well as greenhouse gases — heightens the risk of asthma and other respiratory ailments. Children are more sensitive than healthy adults to chemicals and particles in the air, but across the United States at least 650,000 students from kindergarten to high school spend their days within a mile of a fracking facility, according to a new report from...

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EPA PLANS TO ALLOW UNLIMITED DUMPING OF FRACKING WASTEWATER IN THE GULF OF MEXICO...

Oct 1, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] This article originally appeared on Truthout Environmentalists are warning the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that its draft plan to continue allowing oil and gas companies to dump unlimited amounts of fracking chemicals and wastewater directly into the Gulf of Mexico is in violation of federal law. In a letter sent to EPA officials last week, attorneys for the Center for Biological Diversity warned that the agency’s draft permit for water pollution discharges in the Gulf fails to properly consider how dumping wastewater containing chemicals from fracking and acidizing operations would impact water quality and marine wildlife. The attorneys claim that regulators do not fully understand how the chemicals used in offshore fracking and other well treatments – some of which are toxic and dangerous to human and marine life – can impact marine...

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What’s the True Cost of Fracking? This Eye-Opening Infographic May Surprise You...

Sep 28, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Environment There are significant pros and cons, making fracking a highly controversial issue. By Reynard Loki / AlterNet KERN COUNTY, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 26, 2013: Pumpjacks extract oil from an oilfield in Kern County, CA. About 15 billion barrels of oil could be extracted using hydraulic fracturing in California. Photo Credit: Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com Arsenic. Cadmium. Chromium. Radon. Lead. These are just a few of the toxins used in hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, a controversial drilling process to retrieve oil and natural gas from shale deposits under the surface of the Earth. Concerns about the process have been mounting, as studies have linked it to a host of environmental and public health problems, from increased infant mortality and low birth weight babies to the release of cancer-causing radioactive gas, contamination of drinking...

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Why Did Clinton Just Tap a Pro-TPP, Pro-Keystone Pipeline, Pro-Fracking Pol to Head Her Transition Team?...

Sep 20, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   Environment Hillary Clinton has announced former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar as the head of her transition team. By Amy Goodman / Democracy Now! Photo Credit: Democracy Now! Ken Salazar is a former U.S. senator from Colorado who now works at WilmerHale, one of the most influential lobbying firms in Washington. Some groups have criticized Salazar’s selection due to his vocal support of fracking, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Keystone XL pipeline. In addition to Ken Salazar, other leaders of the transition team include former Obama National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, Center for American Progress head Neera Tanden, former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and Maggie Williams, the director of Harvard’s Institute of Politics. For more, we speak with David Sirota, senior editor for investigations at the International Business Times. This is a rush...

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GERMANY BANS FRACKING FOREVER

Sep 18, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Sean Adl-Tabatabai in News, World Germany have agreed to permanently ban fracking in the country following years of debate over the issue. The coalition government have said that they will outlaw the practise of fracking for shale gas, but will allow test drilling to take place in certain circumstances. Reuters reports: German industry is keen to keep the door open to fracking – which involves blasting chemicals and water into rocks to release trapped gas – arguing it could help lower energy costs, but opposition is strong in the country, where a powerful green lobby has warned about possible risks to drinking water. If the law is approved by parliament, Germany will follow France, which has banned fracking, whereas Britain allows it subject to strict environmental and safety guidelines. Sponsored by Revcontent...

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HOW TO STOP CAPITALISM’S DEADLY WAR WITH NATURE...

Sep 14, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Paul Street  TRUTHDIG   So far, 2016 is the hottest year on record. So was 2015. So was 2014. (John McColgan / U.S. Department of Agriculture) Earth scientists now know that the history of our planet has been set for some time in our current geological age, the Anthropocene. According to leading experts Will Steffen, Paul Crutzen and John McNeill, in this era, “human activities have become so pervasive and profound that they rival the great forces of Nature and are pushing the earth into planetary terra incognita. The Earth is rapidly moving into a less biologically diverse, less forested, much warmer, and probably wetter and stormier era.” We are living in a “no-analogue state” in which “the Earth system has recently moved well outside the range of natural variability.” The...

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For-Profit Pipeline Company Claims “Public Benefit” in Seizing Private Lands in Pennsylvania...

Sep 2, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Larry Buhl • DESMOGBLOG   New and protracted battles in the hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) war are breaking out across Pennsylvania and other states near the Marcellus Shale over pipeline companies’ use of eminent domain. The fiercest battle pits Philadelphia-based Sunoco Logistics against homeowners in the path of a pipeline that crosses Pennsylvania. In a controversial move invoking eminent domain, Sunoco aims to seize private lands to make room for a pipeline extension that would move highly volatile liquids (HVL) used in the making of plastics from the Marcellus Shale region to eastern Pennsylvania. With an air of inevitability, opponents say, Sunoco is planning to move ahead with Mariner East II, a retrofit and extension of an existing east-west pipeline that was once used to ship gasoline westward from Philadelphia’s refineries. The converted pipeline...

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“A Bridge to Nowhere”: A Vision of Fracking Future in the US...

Aug 19, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] A natural gas well in Weld County, Colorado, in a photo taken on April 29, 2015. (Photo: Scott Branson; Edited: LW / TO) To understand just how deeply our lawmakers have drunk the Kool-Aid brewed by industry groups like the American Petroleum Institute, look no further than Colorado and Virginia, two states with Democratic governors who have pretty much sold out their contituents to the oil and gas industry. John Hickenlooper and Terry McAuliffe have pushed natural gas as a “bridge fuel” so hard, they are paraded by industry (and booed by activists) as poster boys for fracking. If McAuliffe has his way, his Virginia may soon be home to two gigantic pipelines transporting fracked natural gas across the state, seizing a 900-mile corridor from Virginians and potentially doubling his state’s current emissions through...

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Colorado could vote to limit fracking on November ballot...

Aug 9, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] REUTERS/Cooper Neill Fracktions By Katie Herzog   GRIST Colorado is one step closer to ditching fracking.Anti-fracking activists have collected 100,000 signatures, more than the 98,500 needed, to secure two measures on the November ballot. One measure would bring oil and gas drilling operations under local oversight while the other would add a no-fracking buffer zone 2,500 feet around any occupied buildings. Together these would, in essence, prevent drilling on 95 percent of the state’s most oil-rich land, according to the New York Times. The state has 30 days to review the signatures and submit any challenges. The industry, however, is already fighting back. Pro-fracking groups have raised $13 million to oppose the initiatives, and Yes for Health and Safety Over Fracking, the group that collected the signatures, reported that volunteer and contractor canvassers were “yelled at, and physically threatened” by people suspiciously spouting oil and gas industry’s...

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ABOUT FRACKOPOLY

Aug 7, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] FOOD AND WATER WATCH Learn more about Wenonah Hauter’s book, Frackopoly, which chronicles the rise of the fracking industry and the growing movement against fracking. Protect our drinking water from fracking. Don’t let Big Oil and Gas frack our public lands. “If Hauter had written this as a novel using the same characters, countries and global intrigue, it would quickly become an international bestseller and a miniseries would soon follow. She describes bigger-than-life captains of industry and colorful small-time scoundrels who play the system for their own gain. There are secret meetings and global conspiracies…a page turner.” — National Catholic Reporter A true tale of corruption and greed, Frackopoly: The Battle for the Future of Energy and the Environment exposes how more than 100 years of political influence peddling facilitated the control of our...

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Hundreds of Offshore Fracking Wells Dump Billions of Gallons of Oil Waste Into Gulf...

Aug 4, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Oil Change International By Andy Rowell As the U.S. shale industry comes under increasing scrutiny for its environmental and health impact, it has emerged that the U.S. has approved fracking offshore leading to billions of gallons of wastewater to be dumped at sea. The Center for Biological Diversity has released federal documents that reveal that officials approved more than 1,200 offshore fracks in 630 different wells in the four years from 2010 to 2014 in the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf of Mexico has already been suffering from decades of conventional oil and gas drilling as well as the aftermath of the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout in 2010, when millions of gallons of oil were spilt. The newly released documents reveal that fracking occurred off the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama...

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Trump disagrees with fellow Republicans on local fracking bans...

Aug 2, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Frack-up   By Ben Adler GRIST Trump’s deeply held conservative principles are clashing with one another. After months of extolling the virtues of fossil fuel extraction, Trump deviated from GOP orthodoxy and told a Colorado TV station on Friday that local communities should be able to ban fracking. “I’m in favor of fracking, but I think that voters should have a big say in it,” said Trump, according to Politico. “I mean, there’s some areas, maybe, that don’t want to have fracking, and I think if the voters are voting for it that’s up to them.”His confusion about the right answer for the right wing is understandable — much like it was when Trump said that women who get abortions should be punished. If Republicans revere local control over land use, shouldn’t local...

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A Former Governor Admitted He Put Economics Ahead Of Safety When Approving Fracking Projects...

Aug 2, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Climate by Alejandro Davila Fragoso CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell speaks during a news conference in Harrisburg, Pa. in 2010.   Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, who presided over the state’s fracking boom of the mid-2000s, admitted the state’s fracking regulations favored economics over environmental safety during much of his tenure. “I made a mistake in the rush to get the economic part of fracking delivered to Pennsylvania,” said Rendell during an event at the Democrat National Convention Wednesday, State Impact reported. “We didn’t regulate well construction and….frack water as well as we should. We cured that in 2010 and we haven’t had any significant incidents since.” Rendell, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, governed Pennsylvania from 2003 to 2011. That was right when improvements...

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TWO TOWNS BATTLE COLORADO FOR FREEDOM TO BAN FRACKING...

Aug 1, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Kate Stringer, YES! Magazine Cattle graze near the Rocky Mountains in Longmont, Colorado. The town is one of two in the Centennial State that are currently working to stop fracking on their lands. (Photo: Let Ideas Compete) Two of Colorado’s leading critics of natural gas drilling say they didn’t know much about fracking until it arrived in their towns. “If you had asked me about community rights or fracking, you would have drawn a blank stare,” said Clifford Willmeng, board member of the Colorado Community Rights Network and a resident of Lafayette, a town just outside of Boulder. Tricia Olson agrees. Founder and executive director of the grassroots group Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development, Olson began looking into fracking when she learned that it was coming to her neighborhood. She didn’t...

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6 Human Activities That Pose The Biggest Threat To The World’s Drinking Water...

Jul 27, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Natasha Geiling THINK PROGRES CREDIT: Shutterstock   Clean, drinkable water is more than a precious resource — it’s crucial to human life. Unfortunately, population growth and pollution are threatening to seriously undermine the availability of clean drinking water in many of the world’s major cities. According to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, water treatment costs have risen by 50 percent in a third of large cities around the world. That means that getting clean, pure drinking water to people has become an increasingly difficult task, requiring cities not only to pay for expensive treatments, but pay for the construction of treatment plants to dole out said expensive treatments. All told, the study estimated that the total cost of degradation to our drinking water —...

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A New Study Adds Fuel to Calls for a Fracking Ban...

Jul 21, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] On the eve of the Democratic National Convention, researchers found that people living near fracking activity face a “significantly higher” risk of asthma attacks. By Zoë Carpenter THE NATION A fracking well in the Eagle Ford Shale region, near Karnes City, Texas. (AP Photo / Aaron M. Sprecher) About 386 million years ago, Pennsylvania received a great gift—or, depending on your point of view, a curse: the Marcellus Shale, a formation of black rock and limestone containing vast reserves of natural gas. The formation stretches from New York through the Appalachian Basin, but it’s Pennsylvania that has played host to the most intensive plundering of those reserves since the mid-2000s, when energy companies began to use hydraulic fracturing to free up the gas trapped a mile below the surface of the earth. Pennsylvania will...

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Fire From New Mexico Fracking Site Explosion Keeps Burning Three Days Later...

Jul 17, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Alejandro Davila Fragoso CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: Kendra Pinto   A massive fire at a fracking site in rural New Mexico that scorched 36 oil storage tanks and prompted the evacuation of 55 residents is dwindling but still burning Thursday, some three days after the first explosion was reported. The fire that started Monday night is mostly out, WPX Energy, the Oklahoma-based company that owns the site, reported Wednesday. However, “small fires” remained at four of the 36 tanks, the company said. No injuries have been reported and according to the company no drilling was taking place at the site prior to the storage tanks catching fire. On Thursday morning plumes of smoke continued to billow from the five-acre oil production site located near Nageezi, a Navajo Nation town some 135 miles northwest...

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WHILE THE SPOTLIGHT WAS ON OFFSHORE DRILLING, FRACKING QUIETLY MADE ITS WAY INTO OUR OCEANS...

Jul 3, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Climate by Samantha Page climate progress CREDIT: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky Vessels assist in the drilling of the Deepwater Horizon relief well on the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana at sunset. The BP leak, the worst-ever in offshore U.S. waters, occurred at a well that the company was in the process of temporarily closing. The accident killed 11 workers and spilled up to 172 million gallons of oil.   The Gulf of Mexico has been struggling with the pollution from offshore oil drilling for a long time, a struggle that was dramatically highlighted by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill six years ago. But now it has come to light that the oil industry is conducting offshore fracking in the Gulf, which is even more dangerous than conventional oil drilling, according...

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FRACKING PRODUCES TONS OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE. WHAT SHOULD WE DO WITH IT?...

Jun 20, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Byproducts of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, create radioactive waste like the truckload shown here in West Virginia. BIll Hughes down in the dumps By Jie Jenny Zou   GRIST Cross-posted from Center for Public Integrity The Marcellus Shale has transformed the Appalachian Basin into an energy juggernaut. Even amid a recent drilling slowdown, regional daily production averages enough natural gas to power more than 200,000 U.S. homes for a year. But the rise of hydraulic fracturing over the past decade has created another boom: tons of radioactive materials experts call an “orphan” waste stream. No federal agency fully regulates oil and gas drilling byproducts — which include brine, sludge, rock, and soiled equipment — leaving tracking and handling to states that may be reluctant to alienate energy interests. “Nobody can say how much of...

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Mark Ruffalo Urges President Obama to Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground in Gripping New Documentary...

Jun 16, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   A new film introduces the president to the victims of the drilling and fracking boom. By Reynard Loki / AlterNet I recently attended a film screening of Dear President Obama, The Clean Energy Revolution Is Now, a new documentary narrated by actor and activist Mark Ruffalo about the impact of hydraulic fracturing across the United States. Fracking is a controversial drilling process to access oil and natural gas—primarily methane—trapped in underground shale deposits. While the fracking boom has created jobs and stimulated the economy, numerous studies have linked it to many environmental and health impacts. The evening was hosted by ABC Home in downtown Manhattan. The screening at a nearby AMC Theater was followed by a discussion with an energized crowd led by Ruffalo and director Jon Bowermaster at Deepak Homebase, a...

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OUR FAVORITE BERNIE SANDERS MOMENTS...

Jun 13, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst By Clayton Aldern VIA GRIST He called climate change the greatest threat to our national security. He pulled Hillary Clinton to the left on climate and energy. He did a good amount of yelling. Bernie Sanders almost certainly isn’t going to be the Democratic nominee for president, but here’s a look back at the Vermont senator’s greatest environmental hits. On taxing carbon: His climate change plan called for a carbon tax that will “tax polluters causing the climate crisis, and return billions of dollars to working families to ensure the fossil fuel companies don’t subject us to unfair rate hikes.” And it aimed for a 40 percent cut in emissions by 2030, compared to 1990 levels — a level of ambition on par with Europe’s. On offshore drilling: The plan also...

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FREE TRADE WILL KILL PROGRESS ON CLIMATE CHANGE, 450 GROUPS WARN CONGRESS...

Jun 7, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Nika Knight, Common Dreams   ECO-WATCH  \Warning against dangers to “workers, communities and our environment,” more than 450 environmental advocacy groups called on Congress to reject the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Specifically warning against the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions, which allow multinational corporations sue nations in private, clandestine tribunals for passing laws they don’t like, the groups sent a letter Monday that stated: “We strongly urge you to stand up for healthy communities, clean air and water, Indigenous peoples, property rights and a stable climate by committing to vote no on the TPP and asking the U.S. Trade Representative to remove from TTIP any provision that empowers corporations to challenge government policies in extrajudicial tribunals.” “By empowering many more firms to launch ISDS cases against the U.S.,” environmental...

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EVEN IF SANDERS LOSES THE PRIMARY, HIS FRACKING POLICY WON CALIFORNIA...

Jun 7, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Shutterstock By Tim McDonnell GRIST This story was originally published by Mother Jones and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. California’s Democratic presidential primary on Tuesday is a make-or-break moment for Sen. Bernie Sanders, who needs a big win in the state to take anything resembling momentum to the Democratic convention in July. His rival, Hillary Clinton, has a narrow edge, leading him by about two points in the RealClearPolitics polling average as of Monday morning. But in addition to its role in the delegate math — after Tuesday, Clinton will likely have secured a majority of the delegates, when unbound superdelegates are factored in — California’s Democratic primary could also be a referendum on how voters in the state want to deal with climate change. California is home...

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6 TOUGH CLIMATE QUESTIONS THE DEMOCRATIC PLATFORM COMMITTEE WILL HAVE TO ANSWER...

Jun 5, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] THE NATION Democrats have a chance to set a bold agenda for dealing with global warming. By Zoë Carpenter Colstrip coal plant A coal-fired power plant in Colstrip, southeastern Montana. (James Woodcock / Billings Gazette via AP, File) When it comes to energy and environmental policy, it doesn’t take an oracle to predict what the Republican Party platform will look like. Donald Trump gave a preview last week in North Dakota, where he called for rolling back environmental regulations and the international climate agreement reached in Paris last year; for a resurrection of the Keystone XL pipeline and the coal industry; and for a heck of a lot more drilling for “very, very pure, sweet, beautiful oil.” Trump’s vision hewed to Republican orthodoxy, and there’s little reason to think the platform will include...

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Hillary Clinton Tried to Push Fracking on Other Nations When She Was Secretary of State, New Emails Reveal...

Jun 4, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Environment The State Department hoped Poland could be a “laboratory for testing whether U.S. success in developing shale gas can be repeated in a different country.” By Reynard Loki / AlterNet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addresses the audience during the George C. Marshall Foundation Award presentation at the State Department in Washington, D.C., Oct. 16, 2009. DoD photo by Cherie Cullen Photo Credit: Cherie Cullen/U.S. Department of Defense Emails obtained by The Intercept from the State Department reveal new details of Hillary Clinton’s behind-the-scenes efforts to export fracking—a method of extracting oil and natural gas from underground shale deposits—to foreign countries during her tenure as Secretary of State. The emails, acquired through a Freedom of Information Act request, could be particularly damning in light of Clinton’s recent attempts to ally herself with the...

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CALIFORNIA BACK IN BIG OIL’S CROSSHAIRS AS FEDS QUIETLY OK OFFSHORE FRACKING...

May 31, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Nadia Prupis / Common Dreams   VIA TRUTHDIG Wikimedia Commons Two federal agencies on Friday quietly finalized two reports, set for release next week, that found offshore fracking in California poses no “significant” risk to the environment—paving the way for oil and gas companies to resume the controversial extraction method in the Santa Barbara Channel and imperiling the region’s wildlife in the process, opponents said. The announcement Friday from the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (OEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement puts an end to a court-ordered ban on offshore fracking in federal waters off the coast of California. The moratorium was put into place in January as part of a settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), which challenged the Obama administration’s ‘rubber-stamping’ of offshore drilling...

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