FROM Janice Crompton
Does 'Fracking' Have a Future? In the past ten years, gas trapped in shale rock deep under Earth's surface has leaped from two percent to 30 percent of America's natural gas production. The reason is development of hydraulic fracturing, a horizontal drilling technique that allows rock to be broken up so the gas can be extracted. Advocates of "fracking" claim it could make the US energy independent in five or ten years. American technology is so advanced that foreign companies are investing in US projects in order to learn it. Small landholders have become instant millionaires. But there are tradeoffs: water pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and even earthquakes. We hear what it's like to live near a "fracking" project. How does it work? Is it time for Congress to weigh the risks and the benefits of a technology so new that it's almost unregulated?
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?