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?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?