Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Article

Comments

The Call of the Wild

With just 18 days remaining in the Clinton administration, enviros have organized a nationwide call-in campaign today to urge Pres. Clinton to declare the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska a monument (hint: 1.888.750.4897). President-elect George W. Bush pledged in his campaign to try to open the Arctic Refuge to oil and gas drilling, and his nominees for Interior and Energy secretaries also favor such a policy shift. The last-ditch attempt by enviros seems unlikely to succeed as Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt hasn't publicly thrown his weight into the effort. Other Interior officials have expressed concern that declaring the refuge …

Read more: Uncategorized

Comments

Teach Half a Million Men to Fish, They'll Eat for a Day

South Africa said yesterday that it will impose emergency measures to save plummeting stocks of several fish species. The fish, including rock cod and red stumpnose, are being caught with long lines, a fishing method that is devastating the fish populations. About half a million commercial and recreational fishers are actively linefishing in South Africa. The country's Ministry of Environmental Affairs and Tourism said it would lower fish catch limits, as well as the number of permitted commercial fishers.

Read more: Uncategorized

Comments

Regulation Time

A blue-ribbon committee formed by the U.S. and European Union to study genetically engineered foods has recommended mandatory labeling and more careful testing of such foods. The committee, whose 20 members included opponents and fans of biotechnology, said late last month that stronger regulations would increase public confidence in the foods, a position that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has denied in the past. In calling for mandatory labeling, however, the committee did not specify how much of a biotech component a food would have to include to require a label.

Read more: Uncategorized

Comments

Man Oman

Stating a desire to protect the environment and children's health, Saudi Arabia this week began a year-long phaseout of leaded gasoline. All of the kingdom's domestic refineries began producing exclusively unleaded fuel this week and leaded fuel reserves are expected to be exhausted by the end of the year. Saudi Arabia's phaseout comes a year in advance of the January 2002 target date set by the Gulf Cooperation Council, which also includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

Read more: Uncategorized

Comments

Abraham Slinkin'

President-elect George W. Bush yesterday nominated outgoing Sen. Spencer Abraham (R-Mich.) for Energy secretary, a choice that has infuriated enviros. Abraham, who lost his Senate race last fall, tried to abolish the Energy Department while in Congress. Abraham also fought to block higher fuel-economy standards for sport-utility vehicles, lower the federal gasoline tax, and open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil and gas drilling. He opposed increased funding for renewable energy research and received a zero percent rating from the League of Conservation Voters in the last Congress.

Read more: Uncategorized

Comments

Guerilla Monsoon

The Colombian army is claiming in a recent report that leftist guerrillas, far-right paramilitaries, and the illegal drug trade are causing ecological disasters within the country. The army says that pipelines blown up by leftists have caused more than 2 million tons of crude oil to pollute 1,625 miles of river in the last 10 years, and that the drug trade has contributed to deforestation and contaminated soil with 200,000 tons of chemicals a year. Overall, the army says that 3,600 square miles of jungle and agricultural land have been lost in the last decade.

Read more: Uncategorized

Comments

Rush More Monuments

Building on his record-setting use of the 1906 Antiquities Act, Pres. Clinton is expected to designate at least five more national monuments, including lands in Montana, California, Arizona, and New Mexico. Enviros have in mind more than a dozen potential monument sites, including the Siskiyou region in southwestern Oregon. But the president's use of the 1906 act has enraged many Western Republicans. Rep. James Hansen (R-Utah), who is expected to chair the House Resources Committee, has pledged to explore ways to turn back monument designations, and Vice President-elect Dick Cheney, in particular, has seemed amenable to the idea.

Read more: Uncategorized

Comments

Chile Today, Hot Tomorrow

The Chilean government and environmentalists are protesting the passage around Cape Horn of a ship carrying about 76 tons of spent nuclear fuel from the U.K. to Japan. Greenpeace Chile fears that the southern route around South America, longer and more treacherous than a trip through the Panama Canal, will become the preferred route for shipping nuclear waste. The group says that if an accident were to occur to the ship en route, it might rival the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. In 1995, the last time nuclear waste was shipped around Cape Horn, Chile's navy blocked the ship from entering its …

Read more: Uncategorized

Comments

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

After a decade of debate, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released final standards for labeling organic foods last month, siding with environmentalists and the organic farming industry on nearly every contentious issue. The standards, which will become fully effective in 2002, ban the use of irradiation, biotechnology, and sewer-sludge fertilizer for any food labeled organic. All three methods would have been allowed under the standards proposed by the USDA in 1997, but the department did an about-face after receiving nearly 300,000 public comments protesting their inclusion. The final standards also ban the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers in growing …

Read more: Uncategorized

Comments

Not Watt! Nit Whit!

In a move that has environmentalists up in arms, President-elect George W. Bush nominated former Colorado Attorney General Gale Norton for Interior secretary on Friday. Norton, a protege of James Watt, Ronald Reagan's first Interior secretary, was part of an effort under Watt to try to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil drilling and has been an active critic of the Clinton administration's land protection record. She is an advocate of granting states, local governments, and corporations a greater say in how the federal government regulates the environment. Bush has also nominated New Jersey Gov. Christine …

Read more: Uncategorized