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Fracking: New Rules Aim To Bring 'Best Practices' To Public Lands

Saying that the rules would "make sure that fracturing operations conducted on public and Indian lands follow common-sense industry best practices," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar this morning issued proposed regulations that would:

-- Require "public disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations on federal lands."

-- Ensure that "wells used in fracturing operations [on public lands] meet appropriate construction standards."

-- Require operators to "put in place appropriate plans for managing flowback waters from fracturing operations."

As The Wall Street Journal notes, it's hoped that the rules would set "a new standard that natural-gas wells on all lands eventually could follow."

Last August, NPR's Christopher Joyce reported about the boom in "fracking" — the process of extracting natural gas by pumping millions of gallons of fluid underground to crack shale and drive the gas up to the surface. As he reported, anxiety about fracking runs deep because many people who live near such operations say their water has been ruined by the chemicals used in the process.

Some scientists say it's also possible that fracking has been causing small earthquakes in some places.

Update at 12:45 p.m. ET. Significant Compromise?

"In a significant concession to the oil industry," The New York Times writes, "companies will have to reveal the composition of fluids only after they start drilling, not before, a sharp change from the government's original proposal, which would have required disclosure of the chemicals 30 days before a well could be started."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Lawsuit Will Decide Who Owns 'Star Trek' Language Klingon

Paramount Pictures holds the copyright to Klingon, spoken by some characters in "Star Trek." The Language Creation Society is arguing Klingon is a real language, and is therefore not copyrightable.
NPR

Germany's Beer Purity Law Is 500 Years Old. Is It Past Its Sell-By Date?

For centuries, German law has stipulated that beer can only be made from four ingredients. But as Germany embraces craft beer, some believe the law impedes good brewing.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour - April 29, 2016

Kojo reviews Maryland's primary results and what they mean for the region and November's elections. The Supreme Court hears arguments in the case of Virginia's former governor. And a major funder of youth programs in the District is bankrupt.

NPR

Weighing The Good And The Bad Of Autonomous Killer Robots In Battle

It sounds like science fiction, but it's a very real and contentious debate that is making its way through the U.N. Advocates of a ban want all military weapons to be under "meaningful human control."

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