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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

The departure of Interior Secretary Kenneth L. Salazar and other Cabinet members gives oil and gas leaders optimism that President Obama's energy and environmental policies will be friendlier to the industry during his second term. (Associated Press)

Interior's Salazar helps empty Obama's Cabinet

Interior Secretary Kenneth L. Salazar's resignation doesn't just leave another open spot in President Obama's Cabinet. The departure of the former senator from Colorado could have far-reaching effects on the administration's energy and environmental policies in a second term — particularly oil and gas drilling on federal lands. Published January 16, 2013

** FILE ** A freshman Republican state lawmaker from North Dakota plans to introduce a bill that would limit use of drones for law enforcement after the highly publicized case of a Lakota farmer who was arrested after a 16-hour standoff with police on Jan. 6, 2013. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via Associated Press)

Laws urged to curb snooping by drones

Big Brother and Big Business may soon be able to easily spy on American citizens using surveillance drones, security and civil liberties specialists warned Tuesday. Published January 15, 2013

Frack attacks and filmmakers who fight back

The intense debate over fracking continues to play out on movie screens and television sets nationwide — and this time the industry's defenders are fighting back. Published January 15, 2013

** FILE ** Vice President Joseph R. Biden salutes after arriving to speak before the 2012 National Educational Association's annual meeting on Tuesday, July 3, 2012, in Washington. (Associated Press)

Teachers don't want to carry guns in the classroom, poll says

As Vice President Joseph Biden's gun violence task force readies its recommendations, a new poll Tuesday shows the nation's teachers aren't interested in carrying guns into the classroom to protect themselves and their students. Published January 15, 2013

** FILE ** In this Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, file photo, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a meeting in the Red Room at the Capitol in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

Gov. Cuomo on the spot as N.Y. considers fracking

With nearby states cashing in but environmentalists and Hollywood stars urging him to back off, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is running out of time to decide whether his state will join the natural-gas fracking boom. Published January 14, 2013

** FILE ** This Dec. 5, 2012, photo shows an oil pump jack in a field adjacent to a sub-division near Fredrick, Colo. Citizen fears about hydraulic fracturing, a drilling procedure used to pry oil and gas from rock deep underground, have made "fracking" the hottest political question in Colorado.

Fracking viewed as good; water worries remain

A majority of Americans support fracking, but even larger majorities remain concerned about the drilling process' potential impacts on drinking water quality and support more research into the practice, new polling data show. Published January 10, 2013

Oil, gas industries see boon without tax increases

Oil and gas industry leaders are urging President Obama to forgo tax increases in his second term and instead embrace more domestic energy production as a way to jump-start the economy and create jobs. Published January 8, 2013

**FILE** President Obama talks with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson on Jan. 10, 2012, at EPA headquarters. (Associated Press)

Lawmakers seek leverage on Obama energy push

America's energy outlook this year will be, more than ever before, tied to how the federal government approaches the issue of climate change — and how much leverage the new Congress will have to help or hinder those efforts. Published January 7, 2013

Wind-power subsidy spared cuts

Federal support for wind power will last for at least one more year under a little-noticed portion of the "fiscal cliff" deal reached earlier this week. Published January 3, 2013

** FILE ** Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican (The Washington Times)

Graham: Obama has won 'fiscal cliff' battle

A top Republican senator is conceding defeat in the debate with President Obama over how best to avoid the "fiscal cliff," accepting that tax increases now appear inevitable. Published December 30, 2012

President Barack Obama speaks to reporters in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington after meeting with congressional leaders regarding the fiscal cliff, Friday, Dec. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Obama wants ban on assault weapons

The national debate over gun control may have been pushed to the back burner in favor of the "fiscal cliff" battle, but President Obama remains committed to confronting the issue no matter the resistance from gun owners and the National Rifle Association. Published December 30, 2012

** FILE ** This photo April 17, 2012, file photo shows Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson during an interview with The Associated Press at EPA Headquarters in Washington. Jackson, The Obama administration's chief environmental watchdog, is stepping down after a nearly four-year tenure marked by high-profile brawls over global warming pollution, the Keystone XL oil pipeline, new controls on coal-fired plants and several other hot-button issues that affect the nation's economy and people's health. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf, File)

Jackson leaves EPA to mixed reviews

A hero to the environmental movement and a constant thorn in the sides of Republicans and the energy sector, outgoing Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson presided over one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in the agency's history. Published December 27, 2012

EPA offers hints on fracking’s future

The Obama administration has pulled back the curtain on its long-awaited study of the possible correlation between water pollution and fracking, but the full results and definitive findings of its far-reaching report won't be released until 2014. Published December 23, 2012

** FILE ** This Dec. 5, 2012, photo shows an oil pump jack in a field adjacent to a sub-division near Fredrick, Colo. Citizen fears about hydraulic fracturing, a drilling procedure used to pry oil and gas from rock deep underground, have made "fracking" the hottest political question in Colorado.

EPA offers details of its controversial fracking study

The public and the energy industry got their first glimpse Friday of a long-awaited study on the possible correlation between water pollution and fracking, but Obama administration officials said the full results and definitive findings of their study won't be released until 2014. Published December 21, 2012

Dennis Van Roekel is president of the National Education Association. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Unions slam push to arm teachers with guns

The debate continues over whether teachers and other school personnel should have access to guns in an emergency, but the nation's two biggest teachers unions warned Thursday that would be a disastrous idea that sends the wrong message to children. Published December 20, 2012