EPA: No comment on fracking air pollution

By Jim Morris and Lisa Song

No one at the Environmental Protection Agency has been willing to talk on the record about air pollution associated with fracking in Texas.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… air pollution caused by the fracking boom in the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas. Despite hundreds of complaints from residents, many of them about noxious …"

"… and rarely fines companies for breaking emission laws. On our 11 trips to Texas we encountered many residents who asked what seemed to be a reasonable que …"

"… easonable question: If a state regulatory agency — in this case the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality — isn’t doing much to curb the ind …"

"… eking on-the-record interviews with EPA officials in Washington, D.C., and Texas. Five months later, no such interviews have been granted. Instead, EPA pr …"

Lobbying activity declines among top special interests

By Dave Levinthal

Three-fifths of nation's top 100 lobbying entities spent less on influence in the second quarter compared to a year ago.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… per PAC — Cochran, and Reps. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, and Pete Sessions, R-Texas, are favored politicos — and counts that money toward its lobbying outpu …"

Federal complaint challenges Texas town's new ban on housing any border kids

By Susan Ferriss

Civil rights groups are challenging ordinances that prohibit cooperation with federal officials if they ask to shelter kids in towns.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… shion. …"

"… n American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF, and Appleseed, a Texas public-interest law group. Appleseed has researched dangers faced by Mexic …"

"… plaint argues that the ordinance — one of a number being contemplated in Texas — is discriminatory and violates the Fair Housing Act and the Civil Righ …"

"… that international health experts say is factually unfounded, as the Texas Observer reported.   The United Nations Children’s Fund reports tha …"

Lawmakers issue dueling Dodd-Frank reports

By Jared Bennett

Republicans say the financial reform law creates a bailout fund. Democrats says the 4-year-old law makes banks safer.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… , written by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, and Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., denounced the financial reform law for faili …"

Families sick from fracking turn to scientists

By Lisa Song

A Pennsylvania nonprofit provides free health consultations to people who live near gas drilling sites and complain of health effects.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… eld and looked like a refinery. "It [was] almost reminiscent of a Houston, Texas, kind of scene," she said. 'Drop in the bucket' Amelia Pare, a plastic s …"

Energy influence in North Dakota is expanding — so what?

By Nicholas Kusnetz and Jared Bennett

A Q & A with reporter Nicholas Kusnetz about the oil and gas industries growing influence in North Dakota.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… r flares have reported health issues, very similar to what was reported in Texas, and the state hasn’t done any testing of local issues like that, so the …"

How oil and gas firms gained influence and transformed North Dakota

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Industry has transformed the state, but at what cost?

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Future Fund":

"… p;show that $300,000 came from a conservative, Iowa-based nonprofit called American Future Fund, a prominent player in national politics. The organization is not required …"

Four years after passage, House keeps trying to kill Dodd-Frank

By Jared Bennett

On the fourth anniversary of the passage of landmark financial reform law, opponents still trying to kill it.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… ermine key provisions in the financial reform law. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, named by the Center’s April report as the captain of the banking caucus …"

Trains, amputations and the roots of why kids are on the run

By Susan Ferriss

Reports have long warned of chaos in Central America many minors say they want to escape.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… s sex workers, as the Center found in 2011. An in-depth report by the Texas legal aid group Appleseed, which led observations of such screenings, …"

Chattanooga wants feds to pre-empt broadband ban

By Allan Holmes

Tennessee city seeks to expand municipal broadband service, pre-empting industry-backed state ban.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internet":

"… ls plan to ask the federal government to allow it to expand the super-fast Internet service it offers city residents, a move that will likely unleash a torren …"

"… networks. The city’s Electric Power Board, which operates a fiber-optic Internet service that competes with companies such as Comcast Corp. and Charter Com …"

"… in 20 states that ban or severely restrict local governments from offering Internet service to residents. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has said numerous times si …"

"… g residents with speeds they couldn’t purchase from the area’s private Internet and cable providers such as Comcast and Charter. A state law passed in 19 …"

Class-action suit: Wrong to put kids into immigration court with no lawyers to help

By Susan Ferriss

Kids whose dad was killed by gangsters are among the plaintiffs in a suit arguing that children should have lawyers in immigration court.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… onduran children turning themselves over to Border Patrol agents along the Texas-Mexico border. The network of pro bono attorneys willing to represent mino …"

Feds seek new authority to recoup Medicare Advantage overcharges

By Fred Schulte

Impact: Feds act to recoup overcharges following Center investigation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… om line costs,” said Geruso, an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin.  Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said that refining the pa …"

Will migrant kids lose access to child-welfare and legal specialists in rush to deport?

By Susan Ferriss

Child advocates are worried possible legal changes could cut off migrant kids' access to social workers, asylum lawyers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… xpress fear of being returned.    A 2011 report by Appleseed, a Texas-based public-interest law group, also documented cases of Mexican kids rel …"

Kochs put a happy face on free enterprise

By Chris Young

Initiative spearheaded by billionaire brothers paints positive portrait of free-market system.

Excerpts from this story referencing "president":

"… large block letters that spelled “H-A-P-P-I-N-E-S-S,” the charismatic president of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, explained …"

"… ember advisory board of the Well-Being Initiative includes Ángel Cabrera, president of George Mason University and Tyler Cowen, a popular libertarian professo …"

"… of public affairs at the University of Texas-Austin, and Chris Rufer, the president and founder of the Morning Star Company. A former fellow at the American …"

"… the American Enterprise Institute, Inboden was previously the senior vice president of the London-based Legatum Institute, which publishes the “Prosper …"

Lobbyists boost Senate Democrats

By Michael Beckel

Democrats have outraised their GOP counterparts in terms of money coming from lobbyists doubling as fundraisers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… ial Committee. And they raised nearly $1.1 million for Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the Senate Republican whip who many worried would see a competitive prima …"

"… eaped riches from lobbyist-bundlers. For instance, Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, received $40,400 fro …"

How lobbyists helped build John Cornyn’s election war chest

By Michael Beckel

Lobbyists’ role in Senate GOP whip's campaign helped him avoid, in his own words, a “fair fight.”

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… d. “That’s human nature.”    …"

"… rding to the analysis. Cornyn ultimately bulldozed Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, and several lesser-known challengers in a March 4 intra-party battle. Bu …"

"… t initially guaranteed. A June 2013 poll sponsored by the University of Texas and Texas Tribune, for example, found that only 54 percent of Republicans …"

"… lly guaranteed. A June 2013 poll sponsored by the University of Texas and Texas Tribune, for example, found that only 54 percent of Republicans viewed Cor …"

Outside money pouring into governors races

By Ben Wieder

Dem, GOP associations are spending more than double as much on governors' races in the 2014 cycle than at the same period in 2010.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… inois, Bruce Rauner, along with contributions to Republican groups in Texas, Maine, Pennsylvania and Kansas. So far this cycle, the DGA has put up ad …"

Health insurers have their way with regulators

By Fred Schulte

Billions in Medicare Advantage overpayments likely gone for good.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… early $650 million for 2007 alone — just for those six plans. One major Texas health plan was paid to care for a man it said had brain cancer. But his m …"

"… contractor, hotly disputed audit findings for its plans in California and Texas.   Auditors had deemed the risk scores for 45 of 100 California …"

States urged to embrace alternatives to school discipline criminalizing kids

By Susan Ferriss

The Council of State Governments warns that harsh school dicipline disproportionately harms ethnic minority, disabled and LBGT students.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Baltimore":

"… have been made in schools all across the country from Denver to Austin to Baltimore.” In 2011, the Council of State Governments released a longitudinal stu …"

State Senate leader reacts to Center report, urging counsel for truants

By Susan Ferriss

A majority state Senate leader in Tennessee says he is troubled by a Center report on accused truants prosecuted, jailed with no lawyers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… l’s own research — including a longitudinal project tracking suspended Texas students over time — has found that “when students are removed from th …"

Texas fracking verdict puts industry on notice about toxic air emissions

By David Hasemyer

A nearly $3 million jury verdict against a Texas oil and gas company highlights regulatory failures and health risks linked to fracking.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… air pollution from gas and oil operations near their ranch in Wise County, Texas. Sometimes they had trouble breathing, they told the Texas Commission on E …"

"… in Wise County, Texas. Sometimes they had trouble breathing, they told the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). They also experienced nausea, …"

"… 7 complaints from Wise County, in the Barnett Shale drilling area in North Texas. One said the odor was so powerful that the complainant “couldn’t go o …"

"… jury found that Aruba Petroleum, a privately owned company based in Plano, Texas, “intentionally created a private nuisance” that affected the family's …"

Nearly $100 million in campaign cash sits idle

By Dave Levinthal

What happens to campaign money of former congressional candidates? It often sits in accounts for years.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… d Reps. Jerry Costello, D-Ill. ($1.38 million) and Jim Turner, D-Texas ($972,843). Ex-candidates cannot spend unused campaign money on themselve …"

Foul air in heavily fracked Texas county has couple looking for a way out

By Lisa Song

After 23 years in once-placid Karnes County, Texas, Lynn and Shelby Buehring say they're moving to escape toxic fumes from a fracking boom.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… r Channel. Lisa Song is a reporter with InsideClimate News. …"

"… eClimate News. …"

"… Channel revealed that despite hundreds of complaints from local residents, Texas regulators know little about air quality in the 26-county Eagle Ford regio …"

"… nbsp;went house-hunting in Tivoli, a small town in Refugio County near the Texas Gulf Coast. It was the first time in two months that Lynn could breathe ou …"

Oil giant Citgo gets off easy in criminal case

By Priscila Mosqueda

Residents of Corpus Christi, Texas, who say they were sickened by emissions from the Citgo refinery decry a judge's denial of restitution.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… isti for at least a decade. …"

"… ride, a deadly gas, into the neighborhoods. Residents’ complaints to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality — more than 200 of them during the 1 …"

"… the first place,” says Melissa Jarrell, a criminal justice professor at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi who studies environmental crime. “Why that’s co …"

"… idn’t.” Too big to punish Rainey, a former director of the Angleton, Texas, Chamber of Commerce, was appointed to federal judgeship by President Geor …"

Groups seek EPA action on toxic air emissions from fracking

By Jim Morris

Sixty-four environmental and community groups on Tuesday petitioned the EPA to clamp down on toxic air emissions from fracking operations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… s examined the air pollution impacts of the Eagle Ford Shale boom in South Texas, where nearly 9,000 oil and gas wells have been drilled in the past five y …"

"… s, storage tanks, gas processing plants and other facilities. States like Texas regulate air pollution from oil and gas production activities using a patc …"

Polis adds to campaign stash, bitcoin by bitcoin

By Dave Levinthal

Colorado Democrat Jared Polis is already benefiting from new campaign finance changes.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… aid. Several other political candidates, including Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, declared prior to the FEC's guidance that they would accept political con …"

Juvenile injustice: truants face courts, jailing without legal counsel to aid them

By Susan Ferriss

Court procedures leave minor offenders with few rights.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… tus offense can lead to penalties that could bedevil minors for years. In Texas, teen Elizabeth Diaz spent 18 days in an adult county jail when a judge in …"

U.S. Chamber targets Dems in state attorney general races

By Ben Wieder

Why are powerful business interests underwriting ads in AG races in the states?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… ng out who is behind negative ad campaigns can be a laborious process. In Texas’ 2002 state attorney general race, a group called the “Law Enforcement …"

"… eclined to respond to numerous phone calls and emails from the Center. In Texas, Watson’s lawyers are hopeful they’ll have an answer soon to who was b …"

Gordon Witkin named Center's top editor

Former U.S. News & World Report editor takes over as executive editor.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… e than 60 awards for his work. He has worked for a number of newspapers in Texas and California as well as publications such as U.S. News & World Repor …"

Donors, friends of governors often get state supreme court nod

By Rachel Baye

Judicial elections are often criticized for corrupting influence, but appointment process has problems too.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… ter found: Even in states where there are elections, like Minnesota and Texas, judges time their retirements so that the governor, rather than voters, c …"

"… tendency to step down before the end of their term. All in the timing In Texas, for example, supreme court justices are elected every six years. But of t …"

"… ined to comment. Perry appointed his chief of staff, Jeffrey Boyd, to the Texas Supreme Court in 2012. Boyd is on the ballot for the first time this year. …"

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