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Shale gas drilling's dirty secret is out

Shale gas drillingThursday's stunning announcement from US EPA that implicates hydrofracturing ("fracking") as the cause of groundwater contamination in Pavillion, Wyoming is news that has rocked the world. But as groundbreaking and innovative as the investigation has been, the news comes as no surprise to anyone who has been following fracking closely.

Anyone who lives in a gas drilling area can tell you: fracking contaminates groundwater. Citizens have been shouting this at the top of their lungs in fracking areas since shortly after the process of hydraulic fracturing was exempted from the Safe Drinking Water Act in 2005, paving the way for the largest gas drilling boom in domestic history.

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EPA Report Links Fracking To Water Pollution

In a draft report (pdf) released today, the Environmental Protection Agency confirmed what many residents of Pavilion, Wyoming have been complaining about for some time now: Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is responsible for polluting the area's drinking water.

Before issuing this report, the EPA had advised residents not to drink their water, because, as MSNBC says, the EPA "said it had found benzene and other hydrocarbons in wells it tested."

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Billion-dollar weather disasters smash US record

Weather disastersAmerica smashed the record for billion-dollar weather disasters this year with a deadly dozen - and counting.

With an almost biblical onslaught of twisters, floods, snow, drought and wildfire, the U.S. in 2011 has seen more weather catastrophes that caused at least $1 billion in damage than it did in all of the 1980s, even after the dollar figures from back then are adjusted for inflation.

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Monsanto Declared Worst Company of 2011

MonsantoBiotech giant Monsanto has been declared the Worst Company of 2011 by NaturalSociety for threatening both human health and the environment. The leader in genetically modified seeds and crops, Monsanto is currently responsible for 90 percent of the genetically engineered seed on the United States market. Outside of GM seeds, Monsanto is also the creator of the best-selling herbicide Roundup, which has spawned over 120 million hectacres of herbicide-resistant superweeds while damaging much of the soil. Despite hard evidence warning against the amplified usage of genetically modified crops, biopesticides, and herbicides, Monsanto continues to disregard all warning signs.

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BP says Halliburton destroyed Gulf spill evidence

BP Plc accused Halliburton Co of destroying evidence that the oilfield services companydid inadequate cement work on the Gulf of Mexico oil well that blew out last year, and asked a federal judge to punish Halliburton.

The accusation, in a BP court filing, raises the stakes ahead of a trial, expected in late February, to assign blame and damages for the April 2010 blowout of the Macondo well, which triggered the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

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The Death Of The Pacific Ocean

Pacific OcearnAn unstoppable tide of radioactive trash and chemical waste from Fukushima is pushing ever closer to North America. An estimated 20 million tons of smashed timber, capsized boats and industrial wreckage is more than halfway across the ocean, based on sightings off Midway by a Russian ship's crew. Safe disposal of the solid waste will be monumental task, but the greater threat lies in the invisible chemical stew mixed with sea water.

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Fracking at Marcellus Shale Site: Hydraulic Fracturing Increases Radionuclides

FrackingIt’s a controversial subject at best, but there may be solid reasons to regulate hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in areas like the Marcellus Shale site. In addition to the numerous other environmental  concerns, such as the unknown chemicals seeping into groundwater supplies, the concentration of radionuclides in the water, pipes, and equipment of a fracking site present a danger to workers and local residents.

The process of extraction of natural gas from black shale has been around a long time, but public concern has increased in recent years. Both public and private figures are calling for stricter regulations on hydraulic fracturing, also known as hydro-fracking. In states that allow this process, there have been cases of  environmental pollution, including: contaminated ground water and increased levels of illness. In addition, the companies may provide no plan for efficient waste handling or accident mitigation, and potentially-harmful concentrations of radioactivity are released into the environment.

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