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AL nonprofit urges Medicaid expansion to save rural hospitals; Harris skipping Netanyahu address shows daylight with Biden on Israeli leader; Biden to give first speech since dropping out of race; IN students face stricter attendance rules, new reading requirements; New Missouri law ensures medication access.

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Kamala Harris builds momentum toward nomination and vets potential Veeps. She and Trump take aggressive stances, as plans for a September debate continue. Sen. Bob Menendez says he'll resign, but will also appeal his corruption conviction.

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There's a gap between how rural and urban folks feel about the economy, Colorado's 'Rural is Rad' aims to connect outdoor businesses, more than a dozen of Maine's infrastructure sites face repeated flooding, and chocolate chip cookies rock August.

Pennsylvanians Make Voices Heard During EPA Methane-Rule Hearing

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Tuesday, December 7, 2021   

PITTSBURGH -- Pennsylvanians were overwhelmingly present during three days of virtual public testimony to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week, sharing why a proposal to sharply reduce methane pollution from the oil and natural-gas industry is needed.

The rule would reduce 41 million tons of methane emissions from 2023 to 2035, according to the EPA.

Rajani Vaidyanathan, a Pittsburgh resident and volunteer with Moms Clean Air Force, said during the hearing the changes would have a big impact on her community, where unconventional wells are within a two-mile radius of schools. She said state lawmakers have failed to protect families from pollutants.

"These decisions to allow unconventional wells in our residential neighborhoods are allowed to rest with the local municipal government, who don't always do the due diligence for fear from these large companies who threaten to sue," Vaidyanathan asserted. "We really need a strong, federal protection."

Pennsylvania is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas pollution in the United States. The EPA is accepting written comments from the public on the proposal until Jan. 14. Comments can be made through email, fax and mail delivery.

Caroline Burkholder, sustainability manager at Temple University, said it is the responsibility of environmental advocates to do everything they can to protect urban, rural and suburban ecosystems. She pointed out the importance is even more clear after Hurricane Ida and other storms caused unprecedented flooding and tornado damage to the Philadelphia region this summer.

"I urge EPA to strengthen the monitoring requirement," Burkholder stated. "Specifically, I request that the EPA require regular monitoring at smaller, high-pollutant wells. Hundreds of thousands of these wells across the country generate just a trickle of usable product but are large and disproportionate emitters of methane."

The EPA proposal would also require officials to meaningfully engage communities overburdened by methane pollution in crafting a state plan.


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Brian Burton with the Arkansas Food Bank said children experiencing malnourishment have a tougher time learning in the classroom. (fotokitas/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

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By Mary Hennigan for The Arkansas Advocate.Broadcast version by Freda Ross for Arkansas News Service reporting for The Arkansas Advocate-Winthrop Rock…


Social Issues

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Big changes are imminent in the way homes are bought and sold, as the new forms for transactions in California come out today. The forms are linked …

Social Issues

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A university in eastern Oregon is figuring out ways to prevent rural 'brain drain.' Eastern Oregon University was officially designated "Oregon's Rur…


Gov. Mike Parson chose not to sign or veto Senate Bill 751, allowing it to become law automatically. (M. Suhail/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

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Gov. Mike Parson recently announced Senate Bill 751 would become law, allowing Missourians to access essential medications within their communities …

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As students in Indiana head back to school, they will encounter some stricter classroom rules, including new reading requirements and a tighter …

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The rates Medicare pays hospitals are carefully calculated to cover the actual cost of care in an efficient health care facility. But Anthem, Cigna…

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An Alabama group is sounding the alarm about the need for Medicaid expansion, in part to keep rural hospitals in business. Many hospitals in Alabama …

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Gov. Andy Beshear is among a small group being considered by Vice President Kamala Harris's team as a potential running mate. There are reports …

 

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