The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday unveiled its first-ever regulations to curb air pollution from hydraulic fracturing, the drilling process commonly known as "fracking" — or in the industry's parlance, "fracing." By 2015, natural-gas and oil drillers will be forced to invest in new equipment that curtails smog-forming emissions from fracing wells.
Tax Armageddon, or "Taxmageddon," looms on the horizon, as $500 billion in tax cuts will all be expiring at the end of the year. While Americans were hustling on April 17 to complete their taxes, experts were warning about a much larger tax day — January 1, 2013. And if Congress doesn’t take action, American households will be hit with an average tax hike of $3,800, according to the Heritage Foundation.
Last November, President Obama stood before an audience and said government needs to be “responsive to the needs of people, not the needs of special interests.” He added, “That is probably the biggest piece of business that remains unfinished.”
As the Summit of the Americas this week in Colombia was drawing to a close, President Obama touted more regional integration even as increasingly hostile Latin American leaders openly called for change in U.S. and regional policies. Analysts and officials throughout the hemisphere and across the political spectrum said the whole gathering reflected the U.S. government’s growing isolation and waning influence in the region.
Passing ObamaCare was a “mistake,” retiring Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) told New York magazine in the course of a wide-ranging interview. President Barack Obama, apparently believing his own campaign hype — an easy thing to do given the adulation heaped upon him by the mainstream media — thought he had a public mandate to enact an overhaul of the healthcare system.
On Tuesday the President targeted speculators for driving up the price of oil and recommended additional oversight on the oil markets manned by an increased number of regulators to be paid for with additional government funding of $52 million. His new strategy, outlined in the Rose Garden, is “to stop spikes in gas prices that we’ve put up with every single year — the same kind of increase that we’ve seen over the past couple of months.” He explained:
Across the political spectrum, amid growing violence and destruction, Latin American leaders assembled in Colombia for the "Summit of the Americas" urged President Obama to reconsider the U.S. government’s decades-old “war on drugs.” And domestically, pressure is growing as well.
The American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative organization that advocates "model legislation" for legislatures across the country, announced Tuesday that it is disbanding the task force that has promoted the "Stand Your Ground" self-defense laws and voter ID and immigration bills, among others.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands upheld the decision of the Rotterdam District Court in 2011 to permit the extradition to the United States of a man suspected of contributing to the planning of a suicide bomb attack on an American military base in Afghanistan in 2010.
Over 70 years after Soviet forces secretly murdered approximately 22,000 Polish intellectuals and military officers in the Katyn Forest, the European Court of Human Rights has declared that atrocity to have been a “war crime.” However, unlike other “war crimes” of the Second World War, the calculated butchering of tens of thousands of Poles will have very little impact on a government that went to great lengths to avoid aiding the investigation: the Russian government will be required to pay 5,000 euros (approximately $6,500) to cover the court costs of the fifteen descendants of Katyn victims who brought the case before the court.