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Stories we like from around the web

The Koch Brothers v. Tom Steyer: Whose carbon footprint is bigger?

When it comes to carbon pollution, the big money funders of conservative and liberal causes both have bad scorecards.

Worshippers with disabilities search for acceptance

People with disabilities struggle to find places of worship that are accepting and accessible.

Could a trade deal lift the U.S.’ longstanding ban on crude oil exports? Europe thinks so.

Secret documents show the European Union is trying to secure crude oil and natural gas exports from the United States, now the world's largest oil and gas producer after overtaking Saudi Arabia this year.

For many, Austin Police Department’s take-home car policy is free ride

Many Austin, Texas police officers that have take-home cars live far outside the city's limits making it unlikely they will be called back to work. Thus, the cars become mainly commuter vehicles for the officers, at a yearly cost of at least $376,000, and serve little public safety purpose, according to the Austin American-Statesman and KVUE-TV. In March, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto issued an Executive Order restricting the use of take-home vehicles and cutting the city's motor pool from 56 to 38 cars.

A history of lethal drug use in Texas

The Texas Tribune details the use and evolution of the drugs used to kill death-row inmates.

Extent of US dependency on prescription drugs revealed: UN report shows six percent of American adults hooked on pills

The United States has the highest rate of painkiller abuse in the world, according to a recent UN report. A nationwide crackdown on prescription drug abuse has had a troubling side effect — the resurgence of heroin use.

One man's mission to curb illegal dumping of Texas frack waste

A Texas deputy sheriff has hauled nearly a dozen offenders to court this year for crimes including the illegal dumping of oil and gas waste.

Boom meets bust in Texas: Atop sea of oil, poverty digs in

It is the scene of one of the greatest oil booms the country has ever seen. But poverty endures in makeshift, barely governed communities called colonias, such as the one where Ms. Vargas shares her trailer with an ever-shifting assemblage of relatives.In Gardendale, Texas, the area, like the country, is a startling and incongruous mix of cascading wealth and crushing hardship. And though the boom has helped produce fortunes for some and comfortable lives for many, for others it exists within a rural landscape of unpaved streets without garbage pickup, where few dare to drink the tap water because it tastes and smells like chlorine.
It is a different kind of poverty than it was in 1928, this time surrounded by a buzz of industrial activity, not empty stretches of scrub grass.

Religious employers can refuse to pay for birth control coverage

Teaser: Women's issues are at the center of another Supreme Court ruling, and this time, the outcome has created a loophole in the new federal healthcare law.