Denton voters ban fracking; leaders vow to defend law

Denton, Texas, becomes the first city in the state to ban fracking, setting the stage for a fight over mineral rights and residents’ rights that could play out in courtrooms and the legislature. Frack Free Denton was jubilant over its resounding victory to keep hydraulic fracturing at bay. But the gas industry promised a fight, claiming the Texas Railroad Commission has the power to say who can drill and where.

Keystone XL — Americans are divided

Dozens of national and regional groups have been fighting the Keystone XL pipeline, saying it could contaminate groundwater and will ratchet up carbon emissions, hastening climate change. But the general public may not feel the same. A recent poll showed most still believe the pipeline will create “significant” jobs and help provide oil to the US.

Fracking threatens water supplies in several states; Texas is ‘ground zero,’ report concludes

Business investment group CERES sounded the alarm Wednesday, issuing a major report about the billions of gallons of fresh water being lost to natural gas fracking operations across the United States and in Canada. CERES researchers evaluated oil and gas water use in eight regions, concluding that gas companies need to improve their water conservation and investors should take heed of the risks involved with fracking in arid and water-stressed regions.

Wind energy subsidies blew away with 2013; will anyone bring them back in 2014?

Congress’ on-and-off romance with wind energy is back off. Tax credits for wind expired – again – with the close of 2013. This isn’t the first time the industry has broken up with its Congress. Every year or every other year for the past decade lawmakers have acted like a reluctant fiancee, extending a hand but always holding back on a full-fledged support for the wind industry.

Friends of the Earth says special interests have tainted Keystone XL approval process — again

The Keystone pipeline opposition has galvanized, with activists angered not just over the pipeline’s heavy carbon footprint, but the lack of transparency and political influence-peddling around the DC review and permitting for the project. This week, Friends of the Earth filed an FOIA request to bring information to light about what it sees as a corrupted process.

Drilling Deeper: The wealth of business connections for Obama’s energy pick

When President Obama nominated MIT’s Ernest Moniz to be energy secretary earlier this month, he hailed the nuclear physicist as a “brilliant scientist.” But beyond his job in academia, Moniz has also spent the last decade serving on a range of boards and advisory councils for energy industry heavyweights like BP and an uranium enrichment company.

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