The federal Environmental Protection Agency is asking nine oil and gas drilling firms to reveal what chemicals are contained in the liquids they are using to fracture underground rock formations. The technique, called fracturing, is being used extensively across the U.S. to force natural gas out of shale rock formations.
Last week, the EPA told a Wyoming town that its ground water is undrinkable after the agency found that it was tainted with chemicals used in the fracturing process.
• The United Steelworkers union says the Chinese government is subsidizing the production of wind energy turbines in violation of international trade laws. (Above)
China’s wind turbine makers now dominate world production of the whirling machines that populate rural America. The Steelworkers contend China’s subsidies violate the World Trade Organization’s rules on free trade. The Steelworkers’ complaint includes a wide array of alternative energy products, from turbines to solar panels.
• The U.S. Census Bureau is expected to report this week showing that the percentage of Americans living in poverty has increased from 13.2% to 15% — or one in every seven people.
The AP has interviewed demographers who said they expected the new poverty figures to be close to that 15% benchmark.
• Crime along the Arizona border is at record lows. “You are not going to be a victim of violent crime here,” said Jeffrey Kirkham, police chief in Nogales, Ariz. “We haven’t had murder here in five to eight years.”
Des Moines Register reporter Lee Rood writes that there have been a number of arrests along the border by immigration agents. But that “crimes affecting local residents are few and far between.” Crime in Phoenix is down and a recent poll found that 87% of the people along the border from San Diego to Brownsville said they felt safe.