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As fivefootsomethingsweating posted somewhere, gas is officially less than $2 in DFW. What?!

Today, as I was walking into school, a parent stopped to tell me I “always look so nice.”

Of all days for her to choose to tell me this, she chooses the day I’m wearing a ridiculous, thrifted Christmas sweater that is two sizes too big. That’s my “huh?!” face. I got dressed today with the purpose of being festive for our holiday program, because that’s what you do when you work at an elementary school. My Christmas light necklace even lights up!

I walked into a 3rd grade class and one of the kiddos said, “Ugly sweater!” and pointed at me.

I decided to give him shit so I said, “Did you just call my sweater ugly?!”

His big brown eyes grew to the size of saucers and his whole face fell. “That’s what they’re called, aren’t they?” he said seriously.

I bursted out laughing and told him that I had purchased my sweater at The Ugly Christmas Sweater Shop. He was relieved.

Kids are the best. So are oversized Christmas sweaters.

Why Media Shouldn’t Glorify PA’s Fracking Industry
Over 200 Water Bodies Have Been Damaged By Fracking Operations

Conservative media are praising Pennsylvania’s fracking industry in order to criticize New York’s recently announced ban on hydraulic fracturing, without mentioning the health impacts that it has had on Pennsylvania’s drinking water and communities.

On December 17, New York became the first state in the country to officially ban the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” The announcement by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration came alongside a long-awaited health study on fracking in New York state, which found “significant public health risks” associated with the process. Cuomo officials also stated that allowing fracking would bring “far lower” economic benefits to the state “than originally forecast.”

In response, conservative media have been holding up the economy in Pennsylvania — where fracking has been in practice for decades — to question the Cuomo administration’s decision. Both the Wall Street Journal and the Daily Caller touted statistics from the American Petroleum Institute, which claimed Wednesday that Pennsylvania’s fracking industry has generated $2.1 billion in state taxes that have allegedly supported new roads, bridges, and parks. And on the December 17 edition of Fox News’ Happening Now, correspondent Eric Shawn reported, “[Fracking] has been allowed in Pennsylvania and helped that state’s troubled economy enormously.” Co-host Heather Nauert agreed, lamenting, “When you go upstate in New York you see just how badly the jobs are needed up there”:

But Pennsylvania may actually be more of a testament to why New York’s health concerns surrounding fracking are warranted. Oil and gas operations have damaged Pennsylvania’s water supply over 200 times since 2007, according to an investigation by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and a recent report from the Government Accountability Office found that the state’s drinking water is at risk from poor wastewater disposal practices. One Pennsylvania town, Dimock, has been dubbed “Ground Zero” in the battle over fracking’s safety by NPR. The town has seen particularly high rates of water contamination, with a methane leak causing a resident’s backyard water well to explode, tossing aside a concrete slab weighing several thousand pounds in one instance.

Further, the argument that New York’s economy is suffering from the absence of fracking does not hold up. Despite Pennsylvania’s widespread use of fracking, the state saw total employment increase just 0.8 percent over the past 12 months, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. New York, on the other hand, witnessed a job creation rate of 1.1 percent over the same period. As of 2013, New York also had a higher GDP per capita than Pennsylvania.

In announcing the findings and recommendations of Department of Health’s health review of fracking, New York’s state health commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, stated that the decision to ban fracking answered a simple question: “Would I let my family live in a community with fracking? The answer is no. I therefore cannot recommend anyone else’s family to live in such a community either.”