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Fracking Town’s Desperate Laid-off Workers: ‘They Don’t Tell You It’s All a Lie’

Fracking lay offsOnly a year ago, Williston’s shale oil explosion was still gushing jobs. From 2010 to 2014, thanks to the Bakken shale oil patch, it was the fastest growing small city in the nation. Williston nearly tripled in size, from 12,000 to 35,000 people.

But the number of active rigs used to drill new wells in the Bakken dropped to 111 in March, the lowest number since April 2010, according to state figures. Low oil prices have prompted drilling to slow down, and companies big and small have been laying off workers and cutting hours.

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U.S. to set fracking standards on federal land

Fracking on federal landThe Obama administration on Friday is due to unveil rules for oil companies that frack on federal land, included beefed-up safety measures, but won't likely require strict oversight as environmental groups want, according to sources.

The standards have been in the works for more than three years and gone through several drafts with environmentalists and the energy industry fighting over its scope.

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Fukushima victims speak. Will anyone listen?

Fukushima victimsOn March 11, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake off the coast of northeastern Japan triggered a tsunami that led to the meltdown of three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

While immediate health consequences are yet to be determined, more than 159,000 people were evicted from areas deemed too radioactive for human habitation. The World Health Organization has warned about “increased risk of certain cancers” for people in the most contaminated areas.

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Antarctica's spectacular glaciers melting faster

Antarctic glaciersFrom the ground of this extreme northern part of Antarctica, a spectacular white and blinding ice seemingly extends forever. What can't be seen is the battle raging below to reshape Earth.

Water is eating away at the Antarctic ice, melting it where it hits the oceans. As the ice sheets slowly thaw, water pours into the sea, 130 billion tons of ice (118 billion metric tons) per year for the past decade, according to NASA satellite calculations. That's enough ice melt to fill more than 1.3 million Olympic swimming pools. And the melting is accelerating.

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Brazil arrests alleged deforestation king of Amazon

Amazon deforestationBrazilian police have arrested the "biggest deforester" of the Amazon jungle, identified as Ezequiel Antonio Castanha, officials said.

Castanha was arrested last Saturday in a joint operation of Federal Police and the National Security Force in the Amazonian town of Novo Progresso in Para state, the Brazilian Environmental Institute (Ibama) said Monday.

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Feds predict 10 fuel trains could derail per year

trains could derail at ten per yearThe federal government predicts that trains hauling crude oil or ethanol will derail an average of 10 times a year over the next two decades, causing more than $4 billion in damage and possibly killing hundreds of people if an accident happens in a densely populated part of the U.S.

The projection comes from a previously unreported analysis by the Department of Transportation that reviewed the risks of moving vast quantities of both fuels across the nation and through major cities. The study completed last July took on new relevance this week after a train loaded with crude derailed in West Virginia, sparked a spectacular fire and forced the evacuation of hundreds of families.

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US charges Duke Energy with illegal pollution from 5 coal ash dumps

Duke enrgy chargedFederal prosecutors have filed criminal charges against Duke Energy with years of illegal pollution from coal ash dumps at five North Carolina power plants.

The three U.S. Attorney's Offices covering the state on Friday all charged Duke with felony violations of the Clean Water Act. The prosecutors say the nation's largest electricity company engaged in unlawful dumping since at least 2010 at coal-fired power plants in Eden, Moncure, Asheville, Goldsboro and Mt. Holly.

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