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US is world’s largest oil and gas producer in 2014

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The United States expanded its lead as the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas last year as output from fracking fields surged, the US Department of Energy reported Tuesday.

While hydrocarbon production in Russia and Saudi Arabia remained relatively flat, US output, by the British thermal unit (Btu) measure of energy content, gained about 10 percent to nearly 55 quadrillion Btu last year.

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That increase represented a 1.6 million barrel a day rise in crude production and a 13.9 billion cubic feet a day rise in natural gas production. US output now stands at about double that of Saudi Arabia.

US production is evenly split between crude oil and natural gas, according to the EIA. In Russia output is also balanced between oil and gas, while Saudi Arabia mainly produces crude oil.

The US production gains came despite a 50 percent fall in oil prices during the second half of the year, the EIA noted.


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Contracts show how Giuliani-backed lawyers planned to help fired Ukraine prosecutor get revenge on Biden

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Newly revealed contracts obtained by the Daily Beast show that two lawyers backed by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani explicitly promised to help fired Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin regain his reputation by digging up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.

A contract written up by attorney Victoria Toensing this past April stated that Shokin would agree to pay Toensing and her husband, fellow attorney Joseph diGenova, $125,000 "for the purpose of collecting evidence regarding [Shokin’s] March 2016 firing as Prosecutor General of Ukraine and the role of then-Vice President Joe Biden in such firing, and presenting such evidence to U.S. and foreign authorities."

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GOP governor is relying on citizen’s prayers to stop school shootings and end opioid epidemic

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Bill Lee is fond of rolling up his sleeves but in a unique move the Tennessee Republican governor has just made his job much easier. Gov. Lee says it’s up to citizens to end school shootings and the opioid epidemic, and to improve results in the state’s schools, by praying.

“If thousands of people offer similar prayers, he believes God will impart his favor on Tennessee,” the AP reports. “The governor’s remarks came during a luncheon at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Nashville headquarters.”

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‘Not sure how they sleep at night’: Outrage erupts as GOP senator blocks Armenian Genocide bill at Trump’s behest

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According to a report from Axios this Thursday, Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) was directed by the White House to block a resolution formally recognizing Turkey's genocide of the Armenian people. Cramer's move marks the third time the Trump administration has directed a GOP senator to block the resolution.

The move was met with widespread condemnation, some of which came from former GOP state Rep. Cole Wist (CO), who accused the White House of attempting to "whitewash history."

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