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House debates the need to study hydraulic fracturing

In the wake of a natural-gas well eruption and two new reports, one published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the other prepared by the Democratic staff of the House Energy and Commerce Committee — both stating that hydraulic fracturing could lead to contaminated drinking water — the House Science, Space and Technology Committee held a hearing on the safety of the practice.  The hearing focused on a Congressionally-mandated study being planned by the EPA.  Republicans on the committee were generally opposed to the study, while Democrats defended the need for it.

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