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Unlikely allies: Mexican miners and farmers unite over toxic spill

Mexico farmers and miners uniteThe pipes have gone silent. Gone is the hum of water flowing through them to the world’s second-largest copper mine, just south of the U.S. border. Instead, in the normally empty desert here, tents and buses line the highway. Dust and smoke from cooking fires fill the air while hundreds of people listen to speeches and discuss the day’s events.

This plantón, or occupation, which began on March 18, has shut down most operations at the Cananea mine, which consumes huge quantities of water pumped from 49 wells across the desert in order to extract copper concentrate from crushed ore.

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Colorado Report: What's in Larimer County fracking fluid?

Colorado fracking fuidsMore than 100 different ingredients have been used at 30 hydraulic fracturing sites in Larimer County since 2012.

Missing from 80 percent of those jobs was an oft-cited cause for health and safety concerns: benzene, a known carcinogenic.

The chemical was also absent in nearly 40 percent of reported fracks in Weld County this year, according to a Coloradoan analysis of the FracFocus database. That is the site to which all oil and gas companies in Colorado are required to report the makeup of hydraulic fracturing fluid.

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Detroit fracking opponents try again to bring issue to voters

Dteroit anti frackig movementThe wheels begin to turn in earnest next week on efforts to bring a ban on hydraulic fracturing before Michigan voters in 2016.

When Michigan’s Board of State Canvassers meets Tuesday, the four-member panel will review forms for the collection of signatures to initiate legislation. It’s a paperwork formality necessary before supporters of a ban on the controversial natural gas extraction process can begin approaching state residents.

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U.S. To Impose Offshore Drilling Rule: Report

Offshore drillingThe United States is planning to impose a major new regulation on offshore oil and gas drilling to try to prevent the kind of explosions that caused the catastrophic BP Plc oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the New York Times reported on Friday, citing Obama administration officials.

The Interior Department could make the announcement as early as Monday, the paper said. It is timed to coincide with the five-year anniversary of the BP disaster, which killed 11 men and sent millions of barrels of oil spewing into the gulf.

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Train Derails in Edgefield County, SC, Spills Chemical

train derails s.c.A Norfolk Southern train derailed in Edgefield County Friday night, prompting an evacuation for people living in the area.  The derailment took place just after 8:30 p.m.. at Salters Pond Road and Highway 121 near the town of Trenton.

South Carolina Emergency Management Division officials say 15 cars derailed, including one carrying anhydrous ammonia. It appears that car did not leak, but another carrying ammonium nitrate did spill.

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Inside the Latest Fracking Controversy Brewing in Texas

Ts frackomgIn Austin, legislators have filed several bills that would undermine the ban and strip local decisions from the hands of voters. Legislators argue that the authority to regulate oil and gas activity lies with the state state, not municipalities.

A significant portion of the Barnett Shale, a geologic formation rich with natural gas, lies under the populated middle-class communities of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. These communities neither want nor need gas drilling’s economic benefits, as evidenced by their protests against gas development. These residents don’t work for the industry; they were doing just fine economically before the rigs showed up.

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PG&E Hit With $1.6 Billion Penalty For 2010 Calif. Pipeline Explosion

PG&E finedPacific Gas & Electric Co.has been ordered to pay a $1.6 billion penalty – the largest ever levied against a public utility – for a 2010 explosion in a gas pipeline it operated that killed eight people and destroyed dozens of homes in a San Francisco suburb.

The five-member California Public Utilities Commission voted 4-0 Thursday, with the commission president, Michael Picker, abstaining, to impose the penalty. Picker, however, called for a larger review of problems at PG&E, a move that The Associated Press says "suggests the energy behemoth could be broken up."

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