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FRACKING

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the process of injecting pressurized liquid deep underground to crack rock in order to extract previously inaccessible hydrocarbons such as natural gas. This technique calls for several million gallons of water mixed with sand and chemicals to be injected at high pressure into a well to create deep underground fractures. Fracking proponents point to the benefits of home-produced energy including jobs, improved national security and reduced air pollution from this cleaner-burning fuel. Opponents point to the adverse environmental impacts of fracking including contamination of ground water, depletion of fresh water, toxic waste water disposal, and risks to air quality and climate change due to significant methane releases during the fracking process.

DREAM KIDS

DREAM Act is an acronym for the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act. This nickname was given to past legislation that attempted to legalize the status of an estimated 1.8 million young people living in America who were brought here as children by undocumented immigrant parents, some at a very young age. These "illegal" Americans, many of whom have graduated from our schools and served in our military, are subject to deportation should they be discovered by immigration or law enforcement officials. Most of these young people have never known any home other than America and have little knowledge of the country they would be deported to. Some wish to grant Dreamers permanent status while others oppose granting citizenship to those who have not immigrated legally.

AFGHANISTAN WAR

The Obama administration has said it is planning to end military operations in Afghanistan, and bring our war-weary troops home by the end of 2014 . However, it has also proposed leaving at least 9,800 troops behind to safeguard our interests after this exit . Many claim there is no further purpose to stay in Afghanistan and want us to exit now, without leaving anyone behind. Opponents claim we should not throw in the towel and renege on our promise not to leave Afghanistan until we fully train and equip Afghan security forces.

FIREARM BACKGROUND CHECKS

During the last decade, the FBI conducted more than 100 million pre-purchase firearm background checks, leading to more than 700,000 denials. Studies show the number of these checks is but a fraction of the total number of people who purchased guns. An estimated 40% of all arms transfers take place between private parties who are not required to perform background checks. Unchecked buyers of these weapons include felons, dishonorably discharged veterans, domestic violence and stalking offenders, substance abusers, undocumented immigrants, those who have renounced their citizenship and the mentally ill. Some wish to require prospective arms buyers to pass background checks while others believe any gun-control measure is contrary to our Second Amendment.



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