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What Makes Us Politic

hickenlooper

The Best Use for Initiatives?

Colorado makes a case for using a citizens’ initiative as a threat against government that forces legislators to act.

ProPublica

drilling-rig

What Would It Cost for You to Sign Away Legal Liability for Future Health Problems to a Fracking Company?

A Pennsylvania gas company offers residents cash to buy protection from any claims of harm.

ProPublica

natural-gas-compressor

The Poor Regulation of the Fracking Industry

In Ohio, where gas drilling is booming and toxic waste abundant, legislators acted modestly to address concerns about public safety.

ProPublica

oil-drill

How Can We Best Measure the Serious Health Threats Posed by Fracking?

In Pennsylvania, opponents of gas drilling say regulators are slow and unprepared in responding to air quality complaints.

ProPublica

oil-and-gas-well

Drilling for Certainty: What We Can Learn From the Latest in Fracking Health Studies

ProPublica surveys some recent research on potential health implications of hydro fracking.

 

well-head-fracking

The Dangers of Fracking: New Study Finds High Levels of Arsenic in Groundwater

A Q&A with Brian Fontenot, whose research gives the latest indication that fracking may be tied to arsenic contamination.

 

fracking-water

Has the EPA Given Up on Trying to Monitor Fracking?

When the Environmental Protection Agency abruptly retreated on its investigation into water contamination in a central Wyoming natural gas field recently, it shocked environmentalists and energy industry supporters alike.

 

williston-fracking

This Is Your Town on Fracking

Elizabeth Royte finds herself stranded in Williston, North Dakota, at the heart of a new oil boom in the United States.

 

fracking-red

The Environmental Defense Fund Is Pissing Off Fellow Environmentalists

Has the large advocacy group allowed itself to be “co-opted by industry interests”?

Economics Essays

Anti-fracking activists hold a rally outside a Democratic Party policy summit in New York in August 2012 to express their opposition to fracking to Governor Andrew Cuomo. (PHOTO: ALLAN TANNENBAUM/NEWSCOM)

The Energy Debate We Aren’t Having

The energy boom has the nation mired in chatter about a burgeoning job market, or panicked over certain environmental destruction. Instead, we should be asking: To whom will go the spoils of this bonanza, and on whose shoulders will the risks fall?

 

(PHOTO: RENAE MITCHELL)

Air Boomtown

Gulfstreams and Dassault Falcons crowd the skies over Williston, North Dakota.

 

A New Source of Oil (for the 1920s)

 

Surfers and Fracking

 

Pronghorn

Fracking Away the Wildlife

A spiderweb of natural gas sites is making it harder for the antelope to roam.

 

Stack of chemical barrels

Frac-o-nomics: More Gas Won’t Guarantee Lower Prices

As humble guar gum illustrates, the economics of producing more fossil fuels won’t automatically result in lower prices, nor will increased protections necessarily mean big price increases.

 

Natural gas facility

Is Natural Gas Just as Polluting as Coal?

Researchers find that harmful methane leaks into the air at twice the amounts estimated by the EPA.

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Levels of Depression Could Be Evaluated Through Measurements of Acoustic Speech

Engineers find tell-tale signs in speech patterns of the depressed.

We’re Not So Great at Rejecting Each Other

And it's probably something we should work on.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the Brain

Neuroscientists find less—but potentially stronger—white matter in the brains of patients with CFS.

Incumbents, Pray for Rain

Come next Tuesday, rain could push voters toward safer, more predictable candidates.

Could Economics Benefit From Computer Science Thinking?

Computational complexity could offer new insight into old ideas in biology and, yes, even the dismal science.

The Big One

One town, Champlain, New York, was the source of nearly half the scams targeting small businesses in the United States last year. November/December 2014

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