Judge Barks at Feds
Enviros are entitled to seats on committees that are advising federal officials on trade in wood and paper products, a federal judge ruled yesterday. Six environmental groups had filed suit against the feds, demanding representation on the committees, which are now composed exclusively of industry representatives and which are pushing for the elimination of tariffs on wood and paper products. Enviros oppose the tariff reductions, arguing that they would lead to an increase in consumption of wood and paper products, and therefore to more logging. The judge ruled that the feds had violated the law by not including a “fair balance” of viewpoints on the committees, and she directed U.S. Trade Rep. Charlene Barshefsky to speedily appoint one enviro to the wood products panel and one to the paper products panel.