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Three states appeal directly to companies to avoid BPA in products

The attorneys general of Connecticut, Delaware, and New Jersey urged 11 U.S. baby-bottle and baby-formula companies to stop using the chemical bisphenol A in their products and packaging in order to protect kids from the chemical's damaging effects. BPA has been found in the urine of 93 percent of Americans, and recent studies have linked the chemical to cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Other studies have concluded that BPA can act as an endocrine disruptor and can leach into food via food containers. "I am alarmed by recent studies confirming that BPA leaches from [baby] products into the foods they …

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Clorox’s Green Works line now top-selling green cleaners in U.S.

Clorox's first entree into the green-cleaning market, released just this year, is going swimmingly so far with the $5.3 billion company on track to sell over $40 million worth of its Green Works cleaners in the U.S., according to sales figures. The Clorox Company already captures a large swath of the conventional-cleaner market with brands like Formula 409, Liquid-Plumr, Pine-Sol, and Tilex. Now Clorox is also the proud owner of the best-selling line of green cleaning products in America. Overall sales of its Green Works line have already surpassed well-known purveyors Seventh Generation and Method. However, Clorox hasn't managed to …

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No Moore

Greenpeace formally disavows any connection to industry shill Patrick Moore

Patrick Moore is a paid shill for the nuclear industry -- through op-eds, astroturf groups, and relentless cozying up to reporters, he works around the clock to convince the public that nuclear is safe and clean and economical and consequently that it deserves billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies. Fine. That's his right. What's not OK is that the press insists on introducing Moore as "one of the founders of Greenpeace," often burying or entirely failing to mention his current shillery. In Moore's youth, in the '70s and '80s, he was indeed heavily involved in Greenpeace. Then, around 1986, for …

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Silverish lining

Will we see $3 gasoline before $5?

A: It certainly looks that way. When I first posed this question in August, I began my answer: A: "Who knows?" and "It doesn't really matter." Much higher gasoline prices that are sustained for a long, long time are now inevitable. The fundamentals in the oil market are that we are in the beginning stages of peak oil. Supply can no longer keep up with demand, which has kept soaring even in the face of record prices. In August, I had assumed that things had gotten as grim under President Bush as they could get. My bad. I did, however, …

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A song for the end of an era

Friday music blogging: Eliza Gilkyson

According to dozens of experts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal, we're heading into a recession that will be the worst in 50 years, with at least three consecutive quarters of less-than-zero growth. Millions of homeowners face foreclosure, trillions of dollars have been lost in the stock market, and we're going to see a spike in joblessness -- perhaps a big one. In a jaw-dropping story in yesterday's Washington Post, a news analyst even wonders whether we're seeing "The End of American Capitalism?" (Now there's a headline I never thought I'd see in a major U.S. newspaper.) Listen Play "The …

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Has the ag bubble burst?

Tough times for agribiz giants — and likely soon for farmers

A few months ago, the "smart money" was pouring into all things agricultural. Corn was flirting with $8/bushel (up from less than $2 as recently as 2005), hedge funds were snapping up farmland everywhere from the Midwest to Africa, and that weird guy who babbles and blusters about stocks on cable TV -- Jim Cramer -- was bellowing the praises of fertilizer companies. People like me lamented the consequences: gushers of agrichemicals onto farmland and into air and water, expansions of monocrop agriculture into environmentally sensitive areas, all without any real increase in food security or food access for the …

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Toyota may develop “Prius on steroids”

Thanks to the persistent popularity of the Prius among American drivers, who buy 65 to 70 percent of all Toyota hybrids sold worldwide, the company is considering developing a bigger, badder version of the gas-sipper. James E. Lentz III, the head of Toyota Motor Sales USA, says he has proposed creating a separate Prius brand akin to the auto giant's Scion spin-off. The new line, which would be sold in regular Toyota dealerships and available only in the U.S., could include various sizes -- including, said Lentz, "one on steroids." Sa-weet! Company officials, who recently announced the long-term possibility of …

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World economic crisis puts climate agreement, CO2 cuts in jeopardy

Worldwide financial turmoil is seriously damaging the chances of the world's biggest polluters agreeing on a new international climate treaty to succeed the Kyoto Protocol. U.N. officials and climate experts have said for months now that the world needs to agree on, at the very least, specific emission targets for a new climate treaty by 2009 in order to have a decent chance of avoiding the most damaging effects of climate change. However, the 2009 timeline was somewhat ambitious even before the economic crisis blew up, since the United States and China keep using each other as excuses to avoid …

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Some Native American tribes see better financial future in wind farms

Some Native American tribes, particularly those on extremely windy reservations, have been pursuing deals lately with wind-power developers, seeing the projects as potentially large and steady sources of income. Overall, Indian reservations are some of the poorest areas in the United States, but federal energy officials and others hope that a boom in wind power projects on Native land will become, like casinos, a big, reliable source of income for areas that sorely need the funds. So far, only one large wind project has been completed on tribal land -- a 50-megawatt wind farm on Campo land near San Diego …

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As GM goes …

GM stock is down 30 percent today -- the lowest GM stock price since 1950. Ford dropped by almost a quarter before a slight uptick -- lowest since 1983. S&P may downgrade their credit rating (again). Witness: Stocks, which had opened higher, dived into the close, with the S&P 500 index ending down 7.6 per cent at 909.92, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 7.3 per cent to 8,579.19, closing below 9,000 for the first time since 2003. The S&P 500 is now down 42 per cent from its all-time high a year ago. Hold on to your hats.