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Md. Official: Natural Gas 'Fracking' Should Be Reviewed

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Miners call it "fracking". It involves injecting pressurized, chemically treated water into the ground to loosen deposits of shale, releasing trapped natural gas.

Advocates say fracking is safe; opponents argue the practice contaminates water supplies. As it turns out, Western Maryland sits atop one of the U.S.'s richest natural gas fields, and there are two pending applications from companies that want to drill for gas there.

Robert Summers, Maryland's acting environment secretary, told a Senate committee Tuesday that he wants more federal oversight on fracking. He won’t green-light the drilling until he’s satisfied it can be can be done safely," he added.

"…It can disturb some of the naturally occurring materials, such as methane, within those various layers and it has caused problems in some areas," Summers said during his testimony.

The Maryland General Assembly, which adjourned this week, failed to pass a proposed two-year, industry-financed analysis of hydraulic fracturing. Meanwhile, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is studying the effects of the process.


The Forgotten Actor Who Battled Hollywood's Whiteness In The 1950s

Remember P. Jay Sidney? Probably not, but Emily Nussbaum of The New Yorker unearthed the story of this actor and advocate's push to diversify the TV world 50 years ago.

Cascara 'Tea': A Tasty Infusion Made From Coffee Waste

Hot or cold, in a soda, hot toddy or beer — people are finding all sorts of ways to imbibe cascara. It's a caffeinated, tea-like drink with a fruity flavor made from dried coffee cherries.
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U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes On How Money Influences Politics, Locally And Nationally

One of Maryland's federal lawmakers is behind some new ideas about campaign finance reform that have stalled in Congress, but are being taken up by local legislatures, including D.C.

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Computer Guys And Gal

Computer Guys and Gal sort out all the latest technology news from the last month.

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