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Fracking could contaminate drinking water: U.S. EPA

fracking

Fracking for shale oil and gas has not led to widespread pollution of drinking water, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency draft report said on Thursday, although it warned some drilling activities could potentially cause health risks.

The study, requested by Congress and five years in the making, said fracking could contaminate drinking water under certain conditions, such as when fluids used in the process leaked into the water table.

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Exhausting Legal Options, Residents of Texas Town Take Direct Action to Enforce Fracking Ban

Texas fracking banFor years, environmental philosophy professor Adam Briggle has opened his ethics classes at the University of North Texas in Denton with writings on nonviolent civil disobedience, usually Henry David Thoreau's classic essay "Resistance to Civil Government." But Briggle has never before engaged in such an action himself - until now.

On June 1, Briggle, who is president of the Denton Drilling Awareness Group (DAG), one of the driving forces behind a citizen-led initiative that banned hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in Denton city limits in 2014, delayed scheduled fracking operations at a Vantage Energy gas well site on the edge of the city's west side by blocking the entrance to the site Monday morning for about an hour.

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Deepwater Horizon: jury selection begins for BP exec charged in oil spill

Deepwater Horizon jurty selection startedJury selection began on Monday for the trial of the most senior BP executive charged in connection with 2010’s fatal Deepwater Horizon oil disaster.

David Rainey, BP’s former vice president for exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, will stand trial in New Orleans, charged with obstructing a congressional investigation in the weeks after the oil spill, the largest in US history.

Prosecutors allege he deliberately withheld information about how much oil was being pumped into the Gulf following the explosion at the BP well.

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French environmental minister warns climate change threatens security

Segolene RoyalClimate change is a threat to international security, France's influential Environment Minister Segolene Royal warned Saturday — adopting an unusually hawkish stance as she heads to the U.S. to push for a global deal on reducing emissions at a landmark Paris conference this year.

She will have to push especially hard in Washington, but she relishes the challenge. Royal, longtime former partner of President Francois Hollande and one of France's most experienced female politicians, is playing a key role ahead of U.N. climate talks in Paris in December.

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World's first ocean system targeting plastic pollution to launch in 2016

Pacific garbage patchThe world's first system designed to rid the oceans of plastic pollution will be deployed near Japan in 2016, with the aim of eventually capturing half of the plastic found in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — a large concentration of marine debris located between Hawaii and California.

Boyan Slat, the 20-year-old Dutch CEO of The Ocean Cleanup, an organization dedicated to cleaning the world’s oceans, designed the system dubbed The Ocean Cleanup Array.

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Never Say Never: Maryland Fracking Moratorium Becomes Law

Fracki8ng ban in MarylandToday, a two and a half year fracking moratorium became law in Maryland. Over Memorial Day weekend, Gov. Hogan let it be known that he would not veto the bill. At the end of March, the Maryland General Assembly passed a bill, originally introduced by Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo and Senator Karen Montgomery, which would prohibit any permits for fracking in the state for two and a half years. The bill passed with veto-proof majorities in each house.

This critical moratorium was made possible by a coalition of more than 100 community and advocacy groups who don’t want to see Maryland fracked. The Don’t Frack Maryland Coalition worked throughout the 2015 legislative session to carry the message that Marylanders do not want fracking in their state. The organizing efforts of the coalition came in waves over several months.

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ExxonMobil CEO mocks renewable energy in shareholder speech

rex TillersonThe CEO of one of the world’s largest oil companies downplayed the effects of climate change at his company’s annual meeting Wednesday, telling shareholders his firm hadn’t invested in renewable energy because “We choose not to lose money on purpose.”

“Mankind has this enormous capacity to deal with adversity,” ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson told the meeting, pointing to technologies that can combat inclement weather “that may or may not be induced by climate change.”

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