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Energy firm says ‘fracking’ triggered British earth tremors

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LONDON — A controversial method of extracting gas from the ground known as fracking was the “highly probable” trigger of earth tremors along England’s coastline this year, according to findings published Wednesday.

British energy firm Cuadrilla Resources said a study of its drilling along Lancashire’s Fylde coast, northwest England, concluded “it is highly probable” that the fracking “did trigger a number of minor seismic events.”

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A tremor of magnitude 2.3 on the Richter scale was recorded in the area in April followed by a second of magnitude 1.5 in May.

“The seismic events were due to an unusual combination of geology at the (Preese Hall-1) well site coupled with the pressure exerted by water injection as part of operations,” Cuadrilla said, citing a report it had commissioned.

“This combination of geological factors was extremely rare and would be unlikely to occur together again at future well sites,” it added.

Cuadrilla chief executive Mark Miller said the company “unequivocally accepts” the findings of the report, carried out by a team of independent seismic experts.

Fracking is the drilling of underground shale rock formations by injecting chemicals and water to release trapped natural gas. Opponents of the process say it causes water pollution but energy groups say it drives down gas prices.

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Last month the US government unveiled plans to set national standards for wastewater discharges from fracking.


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GOP ex-congressman calls on Justice Roberts to override Republican effort to block witnesses

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In a column for the New York Times, former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal, former Rep. Mickey Edwards (R-OK) and Georgetown law professor Joshua A. Geltzer urged Supreme Court Justice John Roberts to intercede and demand Senate Republicans allow witnesses in light of the latest John Bolton bombshell.

Following a New Times report that stated "President Trump directly tied the withholding of almost $400 million in American security aid to investigations that he sought from Ukrainian officials, according to an unpublished manuscript of a book that John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, wrote about his time in the White House," the three took to the Times editorial page to implore Roberts to step in.

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Anxious Senate Republicans face a massive blowback after John Bolton bombshell

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The impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump continues this week, with the president's defense team making the case for his acquittal followed by questions from senators. The president's lawyers opened their presentation on Saturday with a mere two hours of arguments.

This article was originally published at Salon

It's clear they are anxious to get this over with so that the Republicans can bring the "vindicated" Trump into the House chamber like a conquering hero on Feb. 4 for the State of the Union address. They certainly don't want him to deliver it in the middle of his impeachment trial. If the incontinence Trump has displayed on his Twitter feed over the last few days is any indication, there's a good chance he'll leap off the dais and try to strangle House manager Adam Schiff with his bare hands.

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Senate GOP will be accessories to obstruction if they shoot down a move by Justice Roberts to call witnesses: Ex-prosecutor

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On Monday, former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner said that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) must motion for Chief Justice John Roberts to call witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial — and that if Senate Republicans vote down this decision, they will be "accessories" to obstruction of justice.

Schiff must make a motion to CJ Roberts for witnesses. As I’ve been saying all along, if Roberts grants the motion for witnesses (he will) & the Rs vote to overrule him (they might) that will (de facto) be obstruction of justice & accessory after the fact. https://t.co/yQfUTga7gd

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