EARTHblog » Aaron Mintzes
February 19, 2013
The 113th Congress, especially the US House of Representatives, will use their oversight responsibilities this term to conduct hearings on many issues related to hydraulic fracturing or "fracking." Hydraulic fracturing involves the underground, high-pressure injection of millions of gallons of water, silicates and chemicals into ancient cracks in shale formations deep below the ground to release natural gas. The main question considered by these legislative committees boils down to who's the best regulator: cities, states or the federal government?
February 15, 2013
Earlier this week Senators McCain and Flake, along with Representatives Gosar and Kirkpatrick, introduced the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act of 2013 (HR 687). The bill’s purpose is to facilitate a copper mine in federally protected lands east of Superior, Arizona. This bill, similar to the version in the 112th Congress, has been debated for years. The sticking point boils down to whether international mining companies Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton should dig for copper destroying areas sacred to the Apache Tribe and enjoyed by campers, climbers, and other recreationalists.