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Ben Wolfgang

Ben Wolfgang

Ben Wolfgang covers the White House for The Washington Times.

Before joining the Times in March 2011, Ben spent four years as a political reporter at the Republican-Herald in Pottsville, Pa.

He can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

Articles by Ben Wolfgang

Keystone XL would reduce long-haul truck traffic, thus less emissions

Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline contend that it would lead to dramatic increases in greenhouse gas emissions, but a supporter of the $7 billion oil sands project says approval would help cut harmful emissions and make the transport of American oil much more efficient.. Published May 7, 2013

** FILE ** Seattle police Officer Jim Britt demonstrates an unmanned aerial vehicle during an informational meeting at which the police attempted answer questions about their drone program at the Garfield Community Center in Seattle on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. The mayor of Seattle ended the police department's drone program in February after residents protested. (AP Photo/The Seattle Times, Colin Diltz)

States push new privacy blueprint for drones

A coalition of state officials is drawing up a uniform blueprint for drone privacy laws in an effort to head off a patchwork of conflicting rules and regulations being adopted across the country. The model legislation could, theoretically, be used by lawmakers everywhere to put in place a uniform system, as opposed to the state-by-state approach unfolding now. Published May 7, 2013

**FILE** Alabama Tea Party member Kay Day of Irvington, Ala., demonstrates in front of the Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery, Ala., as lawmakers gathered inside on Feb. 5, 2013, the first day of their regular legislative session. Day was protesting Alabama's efforts in the Common Core education guidelines. (Associated Press)

State school systems rethink Common Core standards

The growing backlash against the nationwide K-12 school standards known as Common Core, bubbling to the surface in Indiana, Michigan and elsewhere, has become the hottest story in education. Published May 6, 2013

Embrace of massive online courses rising

Massive open online courses are sweeping the globe, but some higher education leaders argue that the classes, better known as MOOCs, need to be embraced cautiously. Published May 6, 2013

A court ruling could let New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo lift the moratorium on fracking while putting the onus for the ultimate "no" decision on local officials. (Associated Press)

Ruling favors local control of fracking

With its ruling on Thursday, a New York appeals court delivered a key victory to environmentalists in their fight to keep fracking out of the state. Published May 2, 2013

N.Y. court: Towns can ban fracking

The state's governor hasn't decided whether to allow fracking, but a New York appeals court on Thursday ruled that local governments have the right to ban the controversial practice. Published May 2, 2013

Drones are considered efficient tools for law enforcement, but a third of Americans worry that their privacy will suffer if the unmanned devices are used regularly in U.S. skies, according to a poll. Congress has directed the Federal Aviation Administration to come up with safety regulations to clear the way for routine domestic use of the aircraft within three years. (Vanguard Defense Industries via Associated Press)

Defense lawyers want to educate public on drones

Arguing that its site will fill "a critical public need" for information, the nation's leading group of defense lawyers launched on Tuesday an online drone information center. Published April 30, 2013

** FILE ** Work has begun on the Keystone XL pipeline near Winona, Texas, but whether it will ever carry oil sands from central Canada to Gulf Coast refineries awaits a decision by President Obama. (Tyler [Texas] Morning Telegraph via Associated Press)

EPA takes on State Department over Keystone pipeline

The Obama administration has heard from plenty of critics over its handling — and endless delays — of the Keystone XL pipeline. But now it's taking fire from its own Environmental Protection Agency, which is blasting the State Department for an "insufficient" review of the massive Canada-to-Texas oil sands project. Published April 23, 2013

**FILE** A person opposing the Keystone XL pipeline holds up photographs of an oil spill during the U.S. State Department's sole public hearing in Grand Island, Neb., on April 18, 2013, to allow citizens to make their views known on the $7.6 billion Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline. (Associated Press)

Greens: Massive civil disobedience if Obama OKs Keystone pipeline

As the White House moves ever so slowly toward a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, some environmental groups used Monday — Earth Day — to remind the president that approval of the massive project would carry real consequences. Published April 22, 2013

One of the blast sites on Boylston Street near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon is seen in Boston on April 16, 2013, one day after bomb blasts killed three and injured more than 140 people. (Associated Press0

Terrorism on U.S. soil: By criminal or enemy combatant?

With the Boston Marathon bombing suspects no longer threats to the American public, there is another, more politically contentious concern: Should the Obama administration designate 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev an "enemy combatant" bent on waging war against the U.S.? Published April 21, 2013

** FILE ** Neil Heslin, holding a picture of himself with son Jesse, testifies before a legislative subcommittee hearing on gun laws in Hartford, Conn., on Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Newtown victims' families blast gun-control opponents

Expanded background-checks legislation may have been stopped in its tracks, but gun control advocates — led by the families of the Newtown, Conn., victims — are vowing to fight on. Published April 21, 2013

**FILE** Rep. Peter T. King, New York Republican (Associated Press)

Rep. Peter King: Boston probe needs to focus on Muslims

Authorities still are trying to pinpoint the motives behind the Boston Marathon bombings, but a leading GOP congressman pulled no punches on Sunday and urged the FBI to focus on threats from within the Muslim community. Published April 21, 2013