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Environmental groups sound alarm over ‘self-destructive’ fracking in Colorado

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Environmental groups are sounding the alarm as several states in the western US seek to ramp up oil and natural gas production through hydraulic fracturing, potentially disturbing sensitive, federally-protected lands.

The Center for Biological Diversity and three other groups based in Colorado filed a protest against the Bureau of Land Management this week seeking to stop the federal agency from instituting rules that would vastly increase the amount of fracked oil and gas produced on public lands in the state. If the BLM’s rules go through, the number of fracked wells in northwest Colorado could increase from about 1,800 to 17,000 over the next two decades.

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That, environmentalists say, would threaten an area already stressed from the drying up of the Colorado river .

“The Colorado river system’s endangered fish can’t handle more water depletions,” said John Weisheit the conservation director of local activist group Living Rivers said in a statement. “The river system is already over-allocated and climate change is making that situation worse. It’s hard to imagine a more self-destructive policy.”

The protest – a kind of official complaint that requires a response from the BLM – was filed as a lawsuit from fracking supporters against the BLM gains steam.

Last week the state of Colorado joined Wyoming and North Dakota and two groups of oil and gas companies in suing the BLM in an attempt to block regulations which, starting in June, would require companies drilling on federal lands to disclose the chemicals they use in drilling.

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“This lawsuit will demonstrate that BLM exceeds its powers when it invades the states’ regulatory authority in this area,” Colorado attorney general Cynthia Coffman said last week . “I believe it is important to test BLM’s novel assertion of regulatory authority in an area that has been traditionally – and in this case expressly – reserved for the states.”

The first lawsuit against the BLM over the new rules was filed by the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the Western Energy Alliance, groups that represent a slew of multi-million dollar fracking operations.

The BLM has long been criticized by environmental groups for kowtowing to oil, gas, and coal industry demands by leasing federal land on the cheap, and not doing enough work to remediate the damage caused by energy production. Despite the Obama administration’s stated goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the US, his administration has overseen a large increase in coal, oil and gas production on federal lands .

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guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2015

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump promises vets he won’t use his campaign slogan — then blurts it out seconds later

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While talking with veterans on Wednesday, President Donald Trump vowed that he would not politicize the event by reciting his 2020 campaign slogan -- and then did it anyway just seconds later.

While addressing the American Veterans National Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, the president made light of the fact that he was not supposed to be using his speech to promote his reelection campaign and was only there to talk about his administration's work on behalf of veterans.

"In all things, we are putting our country first," the president said. "We are saying, let’s say 'Make America great again,' but we are almost there, 'Make America great again.' We may have to switch it. You know what we’re going to switch it to? Huh? Yeah? That is right. I will not say it here, because this is not a campaign speech."

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Anti-LGBT group: Straight man who spied on women’s dressing rooms is proof we need anti-trans bathroom laws

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A Pennsylvania man was arrested last month for drilling holes in the women's dressing rooms of a Target store with the intention of spying, The Mercury reports. Sean Christopher Anderson, 41, was initially charged with criminal mischief and possessing an instrument of crime, but had his charges upgraded this Monday to invasion of privacy and possessing child pornography.

Now, the right-wing Christian group American Family Association is trying to use his case as proof of the urgency of their boycott campaigns targeting Target's gender-neutral bathrooms, but as LGBTQ Nation points out, Anderson is a straight cisgender man.

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Trump promoting himself as the ‘second coming of God’ is another sign of his lack of basic mental capacity: Yale psychiatrist

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On Wednesday, President Donald Trump retweeted an anti-Semitic super-fan who compared Trump to the "second coming of God." That was after he made comments Tuesday suggesting that Jews who vote for Democrats are traitorous to Israel. The comments come after a long summer of Trump accusing members of the Squad of being anti-Semitic and suggesting that the Clintons are responsible for disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein's death in jail.

Raw Story spoke with Dr. Bandy X. Lee, a forensic psychiatrist and violence expert at Yale School of Medicine, about the president's fitness for office. Lee helped launch a public health approach to global violence prevention as a consultant to the World Health Organization and other United Nations bodies since 2002. She authored the textbook, “Violence: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Causes, Consequences, and Cures,” which shows how the dangerous psychology of individuals is connected to dangerous societies and cultures, including their politics and economics. She and several coauthors of the public-service book, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President,” prepared a mental health analysis of the president using information in the Mueller report (dangerouscase.org).

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