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Call for funding to decrease backlog of coal miners’ benefits


David Wilson, a retired coal miner from Greensboro, ran his finger along a highlighted sentence on a biopsy report of his lungs. The report said Mr. Wilson had pneumoconiosis, the medical term for black lung disease. Mr. Wilson began the application process for black lung benefits in October 2011 and underwent a lung transplant in February 2012. “On June 24 ...

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Oil companies fracking into drinking water sources, new research shows


Neela Banerjee | Tribune Washington Bureau WASHINGTON – Some companies are fracking for oil and gas at far shallower depths than widely believed, sometimes through underground sources of drinking water, according to research released Tuesday by Stanford University scientists. Though researchers cautioned their study of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, employed at two Wyoming geological formations showed no direct evidence of ...

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Gulf oyster harvest has nose-dived since BP spill

Stacy Plaisance | Associated Press HOPEDALE, La. (AP) — Fisherman Randy Slavich drags a clunky metal net through an underwater oyster bed in Lake Machias, a brackish body opening into the Gulf of Mexico. For generations, this has been a bountiful lake for harvesting oysters, long before millions of gallons of oil spilled off Louisiana’s coast in 2010. On this ...

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Severe wastewater violation still not resolved


Lydia Gilbertson | Shale Plays Media Two years ago Halek Operating ND LLC of Dickinson, North Dakota dumped over 800,000 gallons of oilfield wastewater into a inactive oil well threatening the city’s drinking water supply.  The state charged the company with a $1.5 million fine. The company, now dissolved, has not paid the fine and the site remains contaminated. Various environmentalist ...

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Man dies on oil rig in Stanley

oil rig

Lydia Gilbertson | Shale Plays Media The Associated Press reported today that a man from Arkansas has died on the job while working on an oil rig in western North Dakota. On Tuesday, Alan Eberhand, 51 from Harrisburg, Ark., was working on a payloader hose for Dalton Logistics when the forklift on the machine collapsed, pinning him.  His body has ...

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Can we lower climate change by lowering population?


A New York Times article today tackles the problem of carbon emissions from a new angle: overpopulation. The fight against manmade climate change has thus far largely centered on energy efficiency and curbing emissions of ozone-depleting gas. The article argues that we overlook the human element in the equation: the fewer people there are, the less energy we’ll need to ...

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Tesla to reduce costs of renewable energy storage

Tesla Motors, the manufacturer and proponent of electric vehicles, might deal a crippling blow to utility companies with its plan to make renewable energy and the storage of that energy more accessible to the public. A recent report on Motherboard.com has outlined how the electric car maker Tesla has been touted by Morgan Stanley, the multinational financial services corporation, as ...

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Corbett leads rally opposing regulations curbing emissions


James O’Toole | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Gov. Tom Corbett joined West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and about two thousand more coal industry supporters Wednesday in a riverside rally opposing proposed federal regulations curbing greenhouse gases from coal-burning power plants. The event at Station Square’s Highmark Stadium was one part of the partisan prelude to hearings ...

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Federal report says better oversight needed to protect drinking water from Marcellus shale industry


Barbara Miller | Patriot-News The Environmental Protection Agency needs to ramp up its review of the effect fluid injection into wells in the oil and gas industry has on underground drinking water sources, says a report issued by the Government Accounting Office. EPA is not consistently enforcing and overseeing class II wells in two key areas, said GAO. “First, EPA ...

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