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Earth

EPA Says No Evidence That Fracking Has "Widespread" Impact On Drinking Water 266

sycodon writes: A long-awaited EPA report on hydraulic fracturing concludes that the extraction process has "not led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources." The report also cautions of potential contamination of water supplies if safeguards are not maintained. "The study was undertaken over several years and we worked very closely with industry throughout the process," Tom Burke, EPA's science advisor and deputy assistant administrator of EPA's Office of Research and Development, said on a conference call hosted by the agency.
Government

White House Threatens Veto Over EPA "Secret Science" Bills 517

sciencehabit writes The U.S. House of Representatives could vote as early as this week to approve two controversial, Republican-backed bills that would change how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses science and scientific advice to inform its policies. Many Democrats, scientific organizations, and environmental groups are pushing back, calling the bills thinly veiled attempts to weaken future regulations and favor industry. White House advisers announced that they will recommend that President Barack Obama veto the bills if they reach his desk in their current form.
Earth

EPA Report That Lowers Methane-Leak Estimates Further Divides Fracking Camps 127

gmfeier writes "The EPA has significantly lowered its estimate of how much methane leaks during natural gas production. This has major implications for the fracking debate, but puts the EPA at odds with NOAA. From the article: 'The scope of the EPA's revision was vast. In a mid-April report on greenhouse emissions, the agency now says that tighter pollution controls instituted by the industry resulted in an average annual decrease of 41.6 million metric tons of methane emissions from 1990 through 2010, or more than 850 million metric tons overall. That's about a 20 percent reduction from previous estimates. The agency converts the methane emissions into their equivalent in carbon dioxide, following standard scientific practice.'"
Science

How Sequestration Will Affect Federal Research Agencies 277

carmendrahl writes "Unless Congress and the White House act before March 1, the automatic across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester will kick in. And federal agencies are bracing for the fiscal impact. Federal agencies and the White House are releasing details about how these cuts will affect their operations. If the cuts take effect, expect fewer inspections to the food supply, cuts to programs that support cleanups at former nuclear plants, and plenty of researcher layoffs, among other things."

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