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EPA: Fracking chemicals likely tainted Wyoming drinking water

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Chemicals used in a controversial method of natural gas extraction known as hydrolic fracturing, or “fracking,” have likely tainted well water used for drinking supplies in Wyoming, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Thursday.

The agency said Thursday night that it discovered high levels of benzene in well water near Pavillion, Wyoming, most likely from the secret cocktail of chemicals that are injected underground to crack shale rock, which then releases natural gas deposits.

The water tested had a pH level higher than most bleach cleaning products, but Gov. Matt Mead (R) said he felt like more testing was needed before action would be taken to protect water supplies.

CBS News noted Friday morning that about 67 percent of Wyoming’s tax revenues come from energy industry sources, including companies involved in fracking.

The energy industry defends fracking as a safe method of natural gas extraction, but the U.S. Geological Survey and others in the energy industry believe that fracking, or deep underground liquid injection similar to fracking, can cause earthquakes. Others near fracking wells have detected high levels of methane in their water supplies, including several cases where water was so volatile it could be set on fire.

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The EPA said it was conducting a full review of fracking and the risk to drinking water supplies, but the report was not expected until sometime next year.

This video is from CBS News, broadcast Dec. 9, 2011.

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Photo: Flickr user aka Kath.


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Black Georgia lawmaker accuses white man of demanding she ‘go back where she came from’ in supermarket diatribe

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On Friday evening, Erica Thomas, and African-American Democratic lawmaker in the Georgia House of Representatives, was shopping at a Publix supermarket in Mableton when a white customer came up to her and shouted at her, telling her to "go back where you came from" — words echoing President Donald Trump's recent racist attacks on four Democratic congresswomen of color.

Thomas' crime? She had too many items for the express checkout line.

Today I was verbally assaulted in the grocery store by a white man who told me I was a lazy SOB and to go back to where I came from bc I had to many items in the express lane. My husband wasn’t there to defend me because he is on Active Duty serving the country I came from USA!

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Trump mocked for tweeting he’ll ‘personally vouch’ for rapper A$AP Rocky’s bail: ‘Now name three of his songs’

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Twitter users were both baffled and amused on Saturday morning after Donald Trump tweeted that he would "personally vouch" for the bail needed to release American rapper A$AP Rocky from a Swedish jail.

After receiving a phone call from celebrity Kim Kardashian about the plight of the hip-hop star overseas, the president -- in the middle of a racism scandal himself -- appears to have taken up the cause in an effort to calm racism charges.

Not everyone on Twitter was buying it.

See below:

Just had a very good call with @SwedishPM Stefan Löfven who assured me that American citizen A$AP Rocky will be treated fairly. Likewise, I assured him that A$AP was not a flight risk and offered to personally vouch for his bail, or an alternative....

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Trump echoes another president who stoked fear rather than face the tech-based economic change he failed to stem

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It is amazing how similar America in 2019 is to America in the 1920’s, a decade that began almost a hundred years ago. It is as if America is reliving its own history, trapped in a prison of deja vu, purposely not wanting to remember the disaster that unfolded as the 1920s ended.

The parallels are striking, the anti-immigration frenzy, race-baiting, trade wars, over-heated stock markets, corruption, and technological changes that produced hip urban centers contrasting with rural alienation and bitterness. Like today, the 1920s was a period of spectacular wealth and an ever-increasing income gap.

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