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Keith Schneider's Posts

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Michigan residents fight for control of the state’s water

Until two years ago, the 40,550 generally well-behaved Midwesterners of Mecosta County, Mich., regularly attended church, sent their children off to school on yellow buses, and never for a moment worried that their clean, freshwater supply would ever run dry. Mecosta County, after all, sits near the center of Michigan's lower peninsula, which itself sits at the center of the largest supply of freshwater on Earth. A Mecosta County battleground. Photo: Jeff Sapp, MCWC. Then came the water war. On Dec. 6, 2000, the Perrier Group of America, a subsidiary of Swiss-based Nestle, the world's largest food company, applied to …

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The blue-green relationship hits the skids

The Washington, D.C., headquarters of the AFL-CIO, which represents 13 million workers in the United States, is on 16th Street just a couple of blocks north of the White House. On the morning of Sept. 11, some of the U.S. environmental movement's most influential leaders -- John Adams and Robert Kennedy, Jr., of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Carl Pope and Dan Becker of the Sierra Club, and John Podesta, a former White House chief of staff during the Clinton administration -- were assembled in the federation's executive conference room awaiting the arrival of its president, John Sweeney. Their purpose: …

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Redefining the "American way of life"Nonsense and Sensibility

It takes only the first raw scent of the smoldering piles of debris at Ground Zero and a quick glance at the guts of the blasted, black-charred remains of the World Trade Center to immediately agree with President Bush that the Sept. 11 attacks were a direct strike at what he called "the American way of life." America, the solar-powered? Bush's assessment, meant to stir public passion and lay the political foundation for a sustained military campaign to eradicate global terrorism, has also had another, quite different effect. Spurred by the president's regular reference, the American way of life is …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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The political reshuffling in the U.S. could help the environment

It is impossible to conceive of human acts as wholly devoid of humanity as last month's terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. The nation is reeling, emotionally stranded by confusion, shared suffering, and a stunningly new sense of danger. But if something good has come out of this paroxysm of grief and alarm it is this: Americans are reconsidering what's really relevant and what is less so in our national life. Professional sports stadiums, for instance, were empty for a week. Vapid advertising disappeared from television news programs. The Emmy Awards were cancelled. In this unusual moment of national …

Read more: Politics

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Has Bush done the environment a favor with his extreme agenda?

Oh, it's getting fun. As Congress prepares to reconvene next week, the question is not whether the White House will adjust its strategy on the environment, but how. When President Bush and his congressional allies went home for vacations this month, the message they heard away from the Beltway was consistent: The administration's approach on energy, global warming, public health, and natural resources has left a lot to be desired. Act One on the environment was a policy and political disappointment for the president. The prez at the shovel: 15 minutes of trail maintenance in Colorado.Photo: White House. It was …

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A plan to drill under the Great Lakes is fracturing the Michigan Republican Party

Only a few things really get Americans to sit up and pay attention. Oprah's weight. Ally's hair. And a rise in the price of gasoline. The latter, coupled with lucrative campaign contributions from the energy industry, is why President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney thought that an energy plan based on new drilling from the coast of Alaska to the coast of Florida would be politically popular. What the Bush administration did not anticipate is an encouraging 21st-century trend that is fracturing the Republican Party's right wing. Americans understand that safeguarding natural assets, not exploiting them, is the new …

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Bush's attack on federal resources and rules was honed in the states

It has been a busy few months of cutting costs, stifling regulations, and limiting government's reach for George W. Bush and his business allies. Now that Bush has halted U.S. efforts to solve global warming, sidelined rules to protect 60 million acres of wilderness, suspended new limits on arsenic in drinking water, and supported new drilling in the Arctic, the world as viewed from industrial front offices certainly looks like a safer place. Coastal-plain sailing for industry? Photo: Alaska Wilderness League. For conservation advocates in the states, though, the president's campaign to reverse sound environmental policy is all too familiar. …

Read more: Politics