Extra Extra : Energy

Extra Extra Monday: American Indian casinos, oil field fatalities, student absenteeism

Suicide rate hits 25-year high in region | Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal

Craig Russell Wishnick is one of 238 residents of Dutchess and Ulster counties to die by suicide in the five years ending in 2011, 73 more than in the five years ending in 2003, according to a Poughkeepsie Journal analysis of death certificates over a 13-year period. That is an increase in harder-hit Dutchess of 62 percent and the first hike in the county rate after a quarter-century of steady and solid decline.

 

Does Utah’s air pollution increase school absences? | The Salt Lake Tribune

Health problems are a ...

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Air quality monitoring falls short at Eagle Ford oil and gas wells

An oil boom is underway at the Eagle Ford Shale in Karnes County, Texas, but the development is diminishing the quality of life of the inhabitants of the rural county and possibly endangering their health, according to reporting by the Center for Public Integrity, InsideClimate News and the Weather Channel.

Residents' complaints are going unaddressed and air quality monitoring is patchy. Though officials have said there is no cause for worry, experts say that the lack of monitoring and research into the health effects of pollutants has resulted in a poor understanding of how oil and gas development impact public ...

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Controversial Brazilian dam project creating world's third largest hydroelectric plant

In the Brazilian state of Pará, an army of 25,000 workers is building the world’s third largest hydroelectric plant, a controversial construction project –because of the dam’s low efficiency, its environmental impact and its effects on the Indians, riverbank-dwellers and the inhabitants of Altamira. Folha's reporters spent three weeks in the region to put together comprehensive coverage – with 24 videos, 55 pictures, and 18 infographics– of the country’s largest infrastructural investment

Before Bakken well violation, a $22M fraud case in the Texas oil patch

EnergyWire reports: "A little-known company called Halek Operating ND LLC is facing the largest fine North Dakota has ever levied against an oil and gas producer -- $1.5 million -- for jeopardizing drinking water near Dickinson. But even before the company drilled its first well in North Dakota, federal officials say the man behind it had swindled $22 million out of 300 investors in a Texas oil and gas project."

Extra Extra Monday: Mentally ill inmates, sex predators unleashed, civil liberties violations

Sex Predators Unleashed | Sun-Sentinel
"Another child is dead. This time, a brown-haired, brown-eyed girl, a year younger than Jimmy Ryce. A 1999 law passed after Jimmy was raped and murdered at age 9 is meant to protect Floridians from sex offenders by keeping the most dangerous locked up after they finish their prison sentences. But an eight-month Sun Sentinel investigation into the law named in Jimmy’s memory has uncovered shocking failures. Florida’s safeguards have broken down at every stage, setting hundreds of rapists and child molesters free to harm again."

Taken | The New Yorker
"The basic principle behind ...

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Oil Spills: U.S. well sites in 2012 discharged more than Valdez

"It was one of the more than 6,000 spills and other mishaps reported at onshore oil and gas sites in 2012, compiled in a months-long review of state and federal data by EnergyWire. That's an average of more than 16 spills a day. And it's a significant increase since 2010. In the 12 states where comparable data were available, spills were up about 17 percent."

Hennepin Co. commissioner voted for contracts tied to wife's law firm

The Star Tribune reports Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin has repeatedly voted for multimillion-dollar trash-disposal agreements tied to the law firm where his wife works — and never disclosed the connection. Minnesota law says that officials taking action on a matter that would “substantially affect the official’s financial interests or those of an associated business” must submit a written statement describing the nature of the potential conflict of interest to a superior. But the regulations don’t offer many specifics and omit detailed guidance in the case of a spouse’s relationship. “Our statute is very weak,” said Gary Goldsmith ...

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Extra Extra Monday: NSA leaks, secret fracking settlements, predatory tire rentals

Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations | The Guardian
The 29-year-old source behind the biggest intelligence leak in the NSA's history explains his motives, his uncertain future and why he never intended on hiding in the shadows. See more coverage of the NSA surveillance.

High prices are driving more motorists to rent tires | Los Angeles Times
Chains such as Rent-a-Wheel and Rimco are seeing business boom. Many consumers pay double or triple the cost of buying and face aggressive repossession policies.

Star witness in Debra Milke case accused of ongoing misconduct as constable | KPNX Phoenix
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Green energy company may be breaking California waste disposal laws

"KCRA obtained video of hundreds, possibly thousands of mercury-containing fluorescent bulbs and PCB containing ballasts stored outside, in the open air behind a Sacramento contractor’s facility.  State law explicitly states that all these materials must be in a container to prevent leakage and breakage, yet a former employee says the company ran out of space and told employees to put them outside.  Just days after KCRA’s calls the county and state opened investigations and the company cleaned up the materials.  Yet concern still exists that with all the sales of energy efficient equipment and materials more and more ...

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