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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.

NPR

Cult Survivor Documents 2 Decades Inside 'Holy Hell'

Will Allen directed the documentary Holy Hell, which depicts his experience as a videographer and member of The Buddhafield cult. Allen used his own footage, as well as his interviews with other former members, to make this documentary.
NPR

Evaporated Cane Juice? Puh-leeze. Just Call It Sugar, FDA Says

Companies cultivating a healthful image often list "evaporated cane juice" in their products' ingredients. But the FDA says it's really just sugar, and that's what food labels should call it.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour - May 27, 2016

Congress votes to override DC's 2013 ballot initiative on budget autonomy. Virginia governor faces a federal investigation over international finance and lobbying rules. And DC, Maryland and Virginia move to create a Metro safety oversight panel.

NPR

After Departure Of Uber, Lyft In Austin, New Companies Enter The Void

Earlier this month, voters in Austin, Texas, rejected an effort to overturn the city's rules for ride-hailing companies. Uber and Lyft tried to prevent fingerprinting of their drivers, and now both have left town. A few other ride-share companies have popped up to help fill the void. NPR explores how people are getting around town without Uber and Lyft.

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