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What the Frack?

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degette-dianaSeveral of Colorado’s Congressional reps are following up on some bread-and-butter issues. According to the Colorado Independent, House Democratic Whip Diana DeGette is vowing to once again go after those “fracking” oil-and-gas companies. Fracking is short for hydraulic fracturing, a process in which energy companies pump water and sand into the ground to loosen up oil or gas reserves. The practice is believed to be leading to groundwater contamination, but is basically unregulated.

DeGette plans to reintroduce legislation she pushed last year to end a Bush-era exemption for fracking from the Safe Drinking Water Act. The bill could be included in the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which could set up a national renewable energy standard and a carbon cap. The New York Times writes that the energy industry claims DeGette’s action could cost $4 billion.

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U.S. Representative and former entrepreneur Betsy Markey is also championing some near-and-dear legislation–to lower costs and ease access for small-business health insurance. According to the Fort Collins Coloradoan, Markey is emphasizing that the Small Business Health Options Program Act would provide tax credits that chip in 60 percent or more of employees’ premiums for small biz.

The SHOP Act would also enable small businesses and the self-employed “to band together in a statewide or nationwide pool to obtain lower health insurance prices by spreading their risk over a larger number of participants.”

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