For the first time, a government study has tied contamination in drinking water to an advanced drilling technique commonly known as "fracking." EPA scientists found high levels of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing in the ground water of a small Wyoming town.
Climate experts are thinking about growing dense fields of weeds to help soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This would require flooding dense, carbon-rich wetland soils of the San Joaquin Valley, and farmers hope money they make from capturing greenhouse gases would make up for the lost acreage.
The Justice Department announced a $210 million settlement Tuesday with the owner of the Upper Big Branch coal mine, where 29 miners died in an explosion last year. The federal mine safety agency, meanwhile, issued a final report on the blast. But families of the miners are still trying to make sense of the disaster.
A discovery of at least 2 billion barrels of oil in the western part of the state has led to an oil boom. That means a low unemployment rate of 3.5 percent, but residents question the cost. "To expect a county of 20,000 people to overnight absorb another 20,000 people is ludicrous," one official says.
Iran may soon face economic measures tougher than anything it has encountered before: The U.S. Congress is considering sanctions against the central bank of Iran, with the likely effect of limiting Iran's oil exports. But some analysts say the move could lead to a dangerous spike in oil prices.
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