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Fracking causes earthquakes, studies confirm

Two separate studies are providing insights into the earth-shaking consequences of the controversial gas extraction process known as fracking.

Both studies confirm that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, can trigger manmade earthquakes. The process involves blasting water, sand and chemicals deep into the ground to fracture rock to obtain oil and natural gas.

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Experts: Another BP-style Gulf blowout all too possible

BP oil sp;illMuch more needs to be done to lower the risks of another offshore oil disaster like the BP blowout two years ago in the Gulf of Mexico, the presidential commission that investigated the disaster reported Tuesday in its first progress update.

The presidential oil spill commission disbanded after it finished its main report last year, but its seven members recently got together again to look back on whether their recommendations had been carried out. Many steps to prevent or sop up another oil blowout haven’t been taken.

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As air pollution from fracking rises, EPA to set rules

Fracking pollutionThe rush to capture natural gas from hydraulic fracturing has led to giant compressor stations alongside backyard swing sets, drilling rigs in sight of front porches, and huge flares at gas wells alongside country roads.

Air pollution from fracking includes the fumes breathed in by people nearby, as well as smog spread over a wide region and emissions of the greenhouse gas methane.

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Former Bush EPA chief, Christine Todd Whitman, sounds alarm on chemical security

Christine Todd WhitmanWading into a decade-old controversy, former Environmental Protection Agency chief Christine Todd Whitman has urged current EPA administrator Lisa Jackson to close loopholes in a 2006 chemical security law "before a tragedy of historic proportions occurs."

Whitman, who led the EPA under George W. Bush, suggests the agency use its authority to seal gaps in "extremely limited" Department of Homeland Security rules designed to prevent releases of toxic chemicals, according to an April 3 letter she wrote to Jackson that was obtained by the Center for Public Integrity.

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Something Fishy: CRS Report Downplays Fukushima’s Effect on US Marine Environment

Something fish: Fukushima effect on marine lifeLate Thursday, the United States Coast Guard reported that they had successfully scuttled the Ryou-Un Maru, the Japanese “Ghost Ship” that had drifted into US waters after being torn from its moorings by the tsunami that followed the Tohoku earthquake over a year ago.

The 200-foot fishing trawler, which was reportedly headed for scrap before it was swept away, was seen as potentially dangerous as it drifted near busy shipping lanes.

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The Top Short-Term Threat to Humanity: The Fuel Pools of Fukushima

Scientists say that there is a 70% chance of a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hitting Fukushima this year, and a 98% chance within the next 3 years.

Given that nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen says that an earthquake of 7.0 or larger could cause the entire fuel pool structure collapse, it is urgent that everything humanly possible is done to stabilize the structure housing the fuel pools at reactor number 4.

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Chernobyl disaster gave football star Stiliyan Petrov cancer, claims Bulgarian doctor

Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov's cancer was caused by radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster more than 25 years ago, according to his national team's doctor.

At the time Stiliyan Petrov was growing up in Montana, Bulgaria, 650 miles away from Chernobyl.

But the cloud of contaminated matter is believed to have passed over the city in the weeks following the disaster.

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