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Steve Horn, the investigative journalist at DeSmogBlog, is our go-to guy on fracking and energy extraction. He returns to update us on some of his recent important stories. In our last podcast with Horn (#665, 12/7/12) we were joined by Deborah Rogers, a financial analyst who sees a market bubble building in the shale gas and oil sector. Horn's article includes links to Rogers' new 32-page report on the impending bubble, driven by aggressive development of new fracking sites based on inflated projections of the actual reserves being tapped. We make an interesting comparison to the components of the housing bubble.
Horn offers some quick comments, on the new frack-rush in California, where the Monterey Shale is a prime target. Then he details his report about how the EPA started an investigation into Range Corp's fracking operation in a Dallas suburb that contaminated drinking water--and how former Pennsylvania Governor (or is it "fracker-in-chief") Ed Rendell intervened with EPA for Range and the investigation was halted.
He also updates us on developments in New York state, where Gov. Cuomo's top staffer has investments in oil and gas, and a critical report from the state's health department has been delayed, apparently for political reasons.
And we talk about new state laws introduced by friends of ALEC, the right-wing bill mill known as the American Legislative Exchange Council, would require "balanced" curriculum that includes Creationism, disguised as "intelligent design", and climate science denial. It appears that two conservative groups, the Heartland Institute and the Discovery Institute, are joining forces to indoctrinate the next generation against evolution and climate change. Read Horn's report here.