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Energy and Environment

John Wilkes Booth: Presidential assassin, fracking pioneer

January 24, 2014 - Before he became infamous for the murder of President Lincoln, the Confederate sympathizer from Maryland was an oilman who used explosives to boost well production. The technique -- refined by another man whose Civil War experiences inspired what he called the "petroleum torpedo" -- was the rock-shattering prototype for modern hydraulic fracturing.

Alabama oil train disaster met with official neglect

January 21, 2014 - Incidents including a train derailment that led to a major crude spill near Aliceville, Ala. have federal regulators talking about improving oil train safety. But regulators also need to address the need for better cleanup efforts in places like Aliceville, where spilled oil continues to contaminate wetlands two months later.