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Obama calls for offshore drilling in Southeast

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Tuesday outlined a politically fraught plan for allowing oil and gas drilling offshore along parts of the Atlantic coast while imposing new restrictions on environmentally fragile waters off northern Alaska.

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Two from Fort Worth appointed by Gov. Abbott to university boards

Steve Hicks, a University of Texas System regent who has been a vocal opponent of regents who have criticized the system’s flagship campus in Austin, was reappointed to the board by Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday. 

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Museum District: Area’s evolution creating more interaction, public spaces

Fifteen years ago if someone had shot a cannon from Fort Worth’s world-renowned museum district, nobody would have noticed, joked Lori Eklund, senior deputy director of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. But that has changed.

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Energy Transfer Partners, Regency Energy announce $18B merger

Energy Transfer Partners LP of Dallas and Regency Energy Partners LP have entered into a definitive merger agreement.

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American Airlines' first 787 Dreamliner arrives at D/FW

American is preparing the plane to begin service sometime in the second quarter.

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Railroad Commission of Texas: Can't tie water contamination to drilling

HOUSTON (AP) — The amount of explosive gas tainting a North Texas neighborhood's water supply has increased in recent years, but the state's oil and gas regulator says it can't link the methane to drilling activity nearby, according to a report it released Wednesday.
The state Railroad Commission has found that the contamination has gotten worse in most of the private water wells it tested in September 2013 compared with what was measured in 2010 and in 2011. However, Peter Pope, the agency geologist who signed off on the report, wrote that staff "has determined that the evidence is insufficient to conclude that Barnett Shale production activities have caused or contributed to methane contamination beneath the neighborhood."
The agency will not investigate further, Pope added in the report dated Friday. He suggested that infuriated residents of the subdivision in Weatherford, a suburb about 30 miles west of Fort Worth, "properly ventilate and aerate their water systems."
Methane is not toxic, but can be explosive under certain conditions.


The agency's report contradicts findings by independent scientists who have done fingerprint-like analysis of the methane in the water wells and compared it to those being produced by a gas driller. Those scientists have said that the methane originates from a well that was once owned by Fort Worth-based Range Resources. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reached a similar conclusion in 2010 and took rare emergency action ordering Range to provide the homeowners with clean water.
Range Resources has repeatedly denied the allegation and said its testing does not link the methane in the water supply to the gases it produced.
"It's not at all surprising that yet another round of regulatory investigations have determined that gas is naturally present in the Trinity aquifer and is in no way associated with Range's operations," Range Resources spokesman Matt Pitzarella said in an email Wednesday.
But Rob Jackson, a Duke University professor who specializes in isotopic analysis and has conducted this fingerprint testing on the water in the neighborhood, said he was surprised by the agency's decision not to do further testing.
"Based on their own data, five of eight water wells show increasing methane concentrations through time," Jackson said in an email.
The Railroad Commission said it compared its 2013 tests to those taken in 2010 and later by Range Resources. That is how it determined that the methane levels had increased, but as it concluded in 2011, it again found no link to the gases in the well that had been operated and previously owned by Range Resources. It reopened the investigation in 2013 after receiving complaints from several more homeowners about contaminated water.
 

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