- - Tuesday, November 9, 2010

EPA

Subpoena issued on gas-drilling method

The Environmental Protection Agency has subpoenaed energy giant Halliburton, seeking a description of the chemical components used in a drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing.

The EPA said it issued the subpoena Tuesday after Texas-based Halliburton refused to voluntarily disclose the chemicals used in the controversial drilling practice, also known as “fracking.” Halliburton was the only one of nine major energy companies that refused the EPA’s request.

The agency said the information is important to its study of fracking, in which crews inject vast quantities of water, sand and chemicals underground to force open channels in sand and rock formations so oil and natural gas will flow.

The EPA is studying whether the practice affects drinking water and the public health.

HOUSE

GOP lawmaker: Palin ‘cost us’ Senate

A House Republican says Sarah Palin cost the GOP control of the Senate.

Questioned about those comments on Tuesday, a spokesman for Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama said the remarks had been taken out of context but didn’t retract them.

Mr. Bachus, in line to become chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, initially blamed Mrs. Palin last week at a local Chamber of Commerce luncheon. According to the Shelby County Reporter, he said the Senate would be in Republican hands if not for losses by “tea party” candidates endorsed by the former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential nominee.

“Sarah Palin cost us control of the Senate,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.

He added that while tea party candidates did well in House races, “they didn’t do well at all” in Senate contests.

In a statement Tuesday, Bachus spokesman Tim Johnson said the congressman was expressing a widely held belief that stronger Republican candidates could have won in states such as Delaware and Nevada, where Republicans Christine O’Donnell and Sharron Angle lost.

“That’s a lesson going forward,” Mr. Johnson said. “As the article noted, [Bachus] was extremely complimentary of the tea party movement and Gov. Palin in crediting them with the great turnout of conservatives that led to many of the successes on Tuesday.”

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