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Sunday, Dec 21st

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Governor O’Malley Caves to Oil and Gas Interests, Opens up Maryland to Fracking

Governor Martin O'MalleyGovernor Martin O’Malley’s announcement today that his administration will release regulations on fracking next month ignores the tens of thousands of Marylanders calling on him to keep fracking out of the state.

The Maryland Governor, who touts himself as a progressive champion of the environment, cowardly announced right before the Thanksgiving holiday that Maryland will move forward with fracking.

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The Fracking Rush Hits a Pothole

Fracking boom potholeEver heard of Bryan Sheffield? The baby-faced tycoon enjoyed a brief blast of fame a few months ago when he became one of those rare non-tech billionaires under 40.

What ignited his rise to the ranks of Americans with money to burn? He owns a company called Parsley Energy Inc. that extracts oil and natural gas using the highly polluting technique known as fracking. Sheffield's fortune hit the billion-dollar milestone when Parsley went public in May.

But a sudden plunge in oil prices quickly spiked the young Texan's newfound status, trimming Sheffield's fortune to a more modest $750 million.

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Like Seafood? Enjoy It Now—Commercial Seafood Set to Disappear from Oceans in 2048

Seafood to disappearA prominent marine research ecologist says that commercial seafood from our oceans could disappear within the next three decades if humans don’t take action immediately.

Dr. Boris Worm of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada that the oceans are quickly losing biodiversity and that nearly 30% of seafood species that humans consume are already too small to harvest. If the long-term trend continues, there will be little or no seafood available for a sustainable harvest by 2048.

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The Crappy Mom Manifesto: Letter to Fellow Mothers from the Chemung County Jail

Steingraber:  Letter from a Crappy MomLast month extreme fossil fuel extraction and I were both recipients of an accusatory outburst by my 13-year-old.

“I hate fracking!” he said, half yelling, half sobbing. “Fracking turns you into a crappy mom!”

And he is right. Because of my ongoing efforts to halt both fracking and fracking’s metastasizing infrastructure from invading New York State, I have not chaperoned a school trip in three years. I missed Elijah’s opening-night star turn in Romeo and Juliet. I did not attend the high school girls’ cross country state championship, in which his sister competed.

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Obama to unveil new limits on ozone pollution in victory for health groups

ozone limitsThe Obama administration will unveil new limits on smog pollution bringing the US up to par with public health standards in other industrialised countries.

The Environmental Protection Agency is under a court-ordered deadline to propose new rules for ground-level ozone by 1 December. The New York Times reported that the announcement would come on Wednesday.

The new standards represent a victory for public health and environment groups which had sued the Obama administration for rejecting stricter controls for political reasons.

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Anti-Fracking Activist Sandra Steingraber: Why I am in Jail

Sandra SteingraberBreakfast in the Chemung County Jail is served at 5 a.m. This morning—Friday, November 21, 2014—it was Cheerios and milk plus two slaps of universally-despised “breakfast cake.” Along with trays of food—which are passed through the bars—arrive the morning rounds of meds for the inmates who take them.

Now comes my favorite time of day in jail—the two quiet hours between breakfast and 7 a.m. before the television clicks on and we are ordered to make our beds and the loud day begins. Between the end of breakfast and 7 a.m., most women go back to sleep. Now I can hear only the sounds of their breathing—different rhythms all—and, on the far side of the steel door—the occasional voices of the C.O.s (correction officers, a.k.a. the guards) and the walkie-talkie orders they themselves are receiving.

Meanwhile, my bed is already made and I have repurposed my small laundry basket—by flipping it upside down—into a table on which I am writing. And because I am a writer who is writing, I am happy.

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U.S.-China Climate Agreement Won’t Slow Warming Enough, World Bank Says

Global warmingAn agreement between the U.S. and China to curb greenhouse-gas emissions won’t slow global warming enough to prevent extreme weather that damages crops, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said.

President Barack Obama committed the U.S. to cut emissions more quickly under the deal, announced Nov. 12 in Beijing with Chinese President Xi Jinping. For its part, China pledged for the first time to cap its emissions.

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