We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. — Preamble to the Constitution of the United States
A Texas man is finally free after serving 30 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Dallas County Judge Don Adams this week declared Cornelius Dupree, Jr., 51, innocent of rape and robbery because recently obtained DNA testing proves he could not have been involved.
Researchers claim to have discovered vast untapped oceans of geothermal energy they say could replace coal and other so-called fossil fuels as primary U.S. energy sources.
A Colorado landowner ignites his cigarette lighter and holds it close to tap water running from a faucet in his home. A few seconds pass, and the single flame bursts into a ball of fire that sends the man reeling backward.
This shocking scene appears in the 2010 documentary Gasland, produced and directed by filmmaker Josh Fox, which he touts as an exposé on the evils of a particular method of drilling for natural gas called hydraulic fracturing or “fracing,” pronounced “fracking.” Fox claims that nearby drilling contaminated area groundwater, causing the fireball to burst from that Colorado tap.
Should energy consumers pay extra taxes to fund government-mandated and subsidized renewable energy technologies? "Absolutely yes," says John Bryson, President Obama's nominee for Commerce Secretary. He made the remark at a meeting of the Commonwealth Club of California in 2009 and went on to extol the virtues of hidden rates in California, a state encumbered with some of the nation's highest electricity and unemployment rates.
Democrats on Capitol Hill are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to redefine "diesel fuel" so it can expand regulations in natural-gas drilling. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce claims the measure is necessary to "protect human health" from fuels used in hydraulic fracturing, a process that injects high-pressure fluids and sand into shale formations deep beneath the Earth's surface to tap natural-gas reserves.
Rising energy prices in Germany are forcing the pharmaceutical and chemical conglomerate Bayer to threaten a move to China. The culprit is Germany's nuclear energy exit bill, passed last month in reaction to Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster. The bill orders a nuclear phase-out by 2022. Meanwhile, China plans to build 36 new nuclear power plants during the next decade.
Drug stores across the United States are rapidly selling out of potassium iodide pills as people attempt to arm themselves against a U.N.-reported "radioactive plume" drifting across the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima reactor in Japan. Yet government officials and health experts alike describe this reaction as hysterical, says USA Today. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) reported to the House Energy and Commerce Committee on March 17, explaining, "Given the thousands of miles between Japan and the United States, Hawaii, Alaska, the U.S. territories and the West Coast, we are not expected to experience any harmful levels of radioactivity."
Major media outlets report Japan is facing a nuclear disaster after last Friday's earthquake and tsunami damaged its Fukushima power plant in the town of Okuma. "Japan's nuclear situation nearing severity of Chernobyl," shrieks a CNN headline on Tuesday. Reuters warns, "Greed in the nuclear industry and corporate influence over the U.N. watchdog for atomic energy may doom Japan to a spreading nuclear disaster." Yet government officials and press releases from the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) insist the situation is under control and poses no significant threat to public health.