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Glenn Hurowitz's Posts

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Guitar Antihero 4: Gibson's crusade is off-key with U.S. workers

This is the final story in a four-part series about how Gibson Guitar CEO Henry Juszkiewicz and foreign timber companies have turned illegal logging into the Tea Party's cause célèbre. Read part 1, part 2, and part 3. Faced with accusations that his company had illegally imported wood from Asia, Gibson Guitar CEO Henry Juszkiewicz launched a media campaign bashing the federal government's action and criticizing aspects of the law he had allegedly broken -- the Lacey Act, which bans the import of illegally logged forest products. "We've been severely harassed by the Department of Justice (DOJ), no charges have been filed, …

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Guitar Antihero 3: How Congress fell for Gibson's bunk crusade

This is the third story in a four-part series about how Gibson Guitar CEO Henry Juszkiewicz and foreign timber companies have turned illegal logging into the Tea Party's cause célèbre. Read part 1, part 2, and part 4. When the Fish and Wildlife Service carried out a search warrant against Gibson Guitar last month, CEO Henry Juszkiewicz went on the offensive. His company was suspected of illegally importing precious wood from Madagascar and India. In response, he launched a PR campaign aimed at mobilizing right wing groups and media in defense of his company's alleged illegal activities. Juszkiewicz started by going …

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Guitar Antihero 2: Lawless logging and slaughtered wildlife didn’t stop Gibson Guitar

Gibson's logging miles on a highway to hell.This is the second story in a four-part series about how foreign timber companies, Tea Party groups, and Gibson Guitar have turned illegal logging into a Republican cause célèbre. Read part 1, part 3, and part 4. On August 24, federal agents knocked on the doors of Gibson Guitar headquarters and factories in Nashville, Tenn., and seized large quantities of imported wood. The company, famous for its Les Paul guitars, had apparently aroused suspicion for importing guitar fingerboards from India under false pretences -- claiming the wood was "veneer" when it was allegedly …

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Guitar Antihero 1: How Gibson Guitars made illegal logging a conservative cause célèbre

Juszkiewicz photo: shannonpatrick17 This is the first story in a four-part series about how foreign timber companies, Tea Party groups, and Gibson Guitar have turned illegal logging into Republicans' new cause célèbre. Read part 2, part 3, and part 4. If you've tuned into any of the major jobs speeches recently or the conservative media's political coverage surrounding them, you've heard about newly minted Tea Party hero, Gibson Guitar CEO Henry Juszkiewicz. He was sitting in House Speaker John Boehner's box during President Obama's jobs speech. Boehner cited him in his own jobs speech a few days later. According to a …

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By giving in to Big Oil, Obama seals his political fate

Smog, schmog -- that's what gas masks are for.Photo: Alex CarmichalIn his latest attack on the environment, President Barack Obama today announced that he is directing the EPA to withdraw standards that would have cut smog pollution from automobiles, power plants, and refineries. Obama might want to consider that wheezing kids, no jobs, and caving to Big Oil do not a reelection make. The standards Obama blocked could have saved up to 12,000 lives by 2020, according to the EPA, and slashed tens of thousands of children's asthma attacks and other respiratory problems. The environmental justice organization Green for All …

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Everything you've heard about the tar sands and energy security is wrong

If there’s a single idea that the oil industry has peddled to persuade the Obama administration to approve the controversial Keystone XL tar-sands pipeline, it’s this: Tar-sands oil might be more polluting than even dirty old regular oil, but it’s better to get our energy from our ally Canada than from unstable oil suppliers in the Middle East or elsewhere. In practice, the opposite is true: Drilling in North America is the single greatest threat to our nation’s energy security. Here’s the reality: Protecting the United States’ energy security means keeping our continent’s oil in the ground for when we …

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Largest commercial aircraft deal in history goes green

Photo: Tom MaglieryAmerican Airlines just announced a huge $38 billion commitment to fuel efficient, climate-friendly airplanes with the purchase of 460 new aircraft. American hopes that this purchase will help get it out of its current financial troubles: In the second quarter, parent company AMR lost a whopping $286 million as increased fuel prices overwhelmed a boost in revenue. American is getting the majority of its new planes from European manufacturer Airbus, which has taken a commanding lead in production of the fuel efficient, climate-friendly aircraft the aviation industry is demanding. The move is a further blow to Boeing, the …

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How America just lost 1 million green(ish) jobs to Europe

Most underplayed economic story of the week: European aircraft manufacturer Airbus "trounced" the traditional U.S. behemoth Boeing at the Paris Air Show, booking a record $50 billion more in orders for new planes. The reason: commercial plane buyers' demands for high fuel efficiency and low emissions. Here's the Associated Press report on how Airbus racked up a whopping 730 new plane orders compared to a measly 142 for Boeing: Airbus has cashed in on airlines' desire to reduce sky-high fuel costs and cut their carbon dioxide emissions. Airbus says the A320neo is 15 percent more fuel efficient than rival aircraft …

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Has Obama lost environmental voters?

Al Gore's Rolling Stone critique of President Obama's failure to act on the climate crisis is further evidence of environmentalists' broad frustration with this administration. Gore now joins former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt as yet another former Clinton administration official whose dismay at Obama's undermining of climate legislation, oil-industry cheerleading, enormous expansion of coal mining for export to China, and capitulations on public lands issues have overcome their innate reluctance to criticize a Democratic president and risk ostracism from the Beltway establishment. This increased boldness follows a major evolution in the environmental movement itself: Driven by grassroots frustration, major environmental …

Read more: Election 2012, Politics

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Memo to the White House: Closing coal plants is a good thing

As the Obama administration announced the latest in a series of delays on rules that would cut pollution from smokestacks and industrial facilities, the utility industry continues to tout a new study showing that planned EPA clean air regulations would cause the shutdown of several coal-fired power plants. Several politicians and the administration have responded by trying to deny the charge -- saying that most of the plants would have shut down anyway: Really, it's not our fault that these poison-spewing monsters are closing, they say. Rather than running away from the closure of a coal plant, the administration would …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Coal