FROM Robert Howarth
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?
The airline electronics ban and what it means President Trump's Department of Homeland Security has banned all electronic devices larger than cell phones on some foreign airlines flying direct to the US. It's causing confusion as well as inconvenience. Is the motive really just increased security?
The 'deconstruction' of the administrative state President Trump has failed to fill high-level positions in important agencies — and some people he has named want to phase out the agencies they're supposed to lead. We look at the possible consequences for delivering services and providing security — and at top aide Steve Bannon's plans for "deconstructing the administrative state."
House Republicans release their Obamacare replacement As two House committees take up "repeal and replacement" of "Obamacare," there may be life left in the Affordable Care Act after all. Even Republicans are divided, and proposed changes won't make good on President Trump's promise to provide "health insurance for everybody."