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W.R. Grace will finally pay Montana asbestos victims

W.R. Grace & Co. has agreed to pay some $3 billion in cash and equity to settle lawsuits filed on behalf of people injured or killed by asbestos in the company's products. Grace operated a vermiculite mine near Libby, Mont., from 1963 to 1990, infamously coating the town with asbestos fibers. The company went bankrupt in 2001 after more than 100,000 asbestos-related claims were filed against it. The legal battle over responsibility and cleanup for what the U.S. EPA once called "the nation's worst environmental disaster" has been long and arduous and still goes on: seven current and former Grace …

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Labor and enviros join up for green-jobs campaign

A new green-jobs campaign has been launched by the Sierra Club, NRDC, the United Steelworkers, and the Blue Green Alliance (itself a project of the Sierra Club and the steelworkers union). The Green Jobs for America campaign, moving forward on the momentum of last month's Good Jobs, Green Jobs conference, will be focused in 12 states and will aim to raise public awareness, encourage private investment in renewable energy, and push for green-minded policy.

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Apple Inc. files complaint over NYC’s green branding

Macintosh manufacturer Apple Inc. and a New York City environmental initiative both have apple logos, but is that an original sin? Apple Inc. thinks problems will stem from the too-similar logos, and has filed a trademark infringement complaint against GreeNYC, the Big Apple's campaign to boost environmental awareness. But a spokesperson for New York City's marketing arm disputes the core problem, biting back, "We believe the infinity apple design and its mission to create environmental awareness are unique and distinctive and do not infringe upon the Apple Computer brand." Ironically, the computer company was itself the target of a drawn-out …

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Green TNR, brought to you by BP

The New Republic has a new blog devoted to environment and energy issues. On the bright side, it includes the work of Brad Plumer, one of the most honest, thoughtful, and insightful writers in D.C. For that alone it's worth bookmarking. On the not so bright side, it's ... "powered by BP." Really. Here's a bit from Brad's post on that subject: Personally, I have a lot of qualms about being "powered" by BP, even though none of the bloggers on this site have anything to do with TNR's business side, and we were hoping to keep this blog running …

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Digging into the relationships between business and environmentalism

Admittedly, this is more of a link dump than a true blog post, but sometimes the green goodness is too good to pass up ... As Sarah and David have mentioned, the May edition of Vanity Fair is their third annual green issue. Featuring, ironically, the material girl on the cover, it's crammed with features that will enlighten, illuminate, and ... disturb. Pulitzer prize-winning journalists Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele investigate Monsanto. ("We've never written about a company where some of its own customers are scared of it," they said.) Donald Trump and Michael Forbes duke it out …

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Solving climate change can save billions, boost the economy, and create jobs

A new report from Architecture2030 shows that solving the climate change crisis can save billions of dollars, stimulate a deteriorating U.S. economy, and create high quality jobs (full report here). Complex problems sometimes require the simplest of solutions. One of the most important questions facing those attempting to solve the climate crisis is, "How do we reduce CO2 emissions dramatically and immediately?" The simplest answer is, "Turn off the coal plants." Although coal produces about half of the energy supplied by the electric power sector, it is responsible for 81% of the sector's CO2 emissions. According to recent paper by …

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Day two at The Dream Reborn conference

When I left the Dream Reborn conference on Friday, I had a few questions: Exactly what are green jobs? How do we create them? And why has it suddenly become so important to talk about them? Yesterday, I got some answers. And it's a good thing, too, since the conference wraps up today. Here's a quick rundown of some of the answers I found. (We'll have more in-depth coverage of the conference in a few days.) Pay close attention, because I'm gonna go through this stuff quickly -- and in reverse order. First up: Why green jobs now? Here's Van …

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Massey wins W. Va. Supreme Court case; not doing so well in public relations

A while back, a case against mountaintop-removal giant Massey Energy reached the West Virginia Supreme Court, which overturned a previous judgment fining the company. But then pictures turned up of Massey CEO Don Blankenship canoodling around the French Riviera with one of the court judges and two female "companions." Oops. The court decided to re-hear the case, minus the offending judge. Then another judge, who had said that "the pernicious effects of Mr. Blankenship's bestowal of his personal wealth, political tactics, and 'friendship' have created a cancer in the affairs of this court" -- got bullied off the case by …

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The implicit assumption in Pielke Jr.’s Nature commentary

Can we beat global warming with existing technology? I said here that "nobody believes" we have the technology available today to tackle global warming. Gar responded: yes, someone believes it, namely me. Lindsay Meisel from the Breakthrough Institute responded: yes, lots of enviros seem to believe it, and no, it's not true. Thinking more about this, it strikes me that that the question itself is deceptive. It's no wonder people seem to be talking past each other trying to answer it. As phrased, the question implicitly assumes that climate change is a technological problem. More honestly phrased, the question RPJr …

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Drudge hijacks headlines to sell global warming denial

From the Think Progress Wonk Room. Atop the Drudge Report right now: Do the stories behind these headlines tell the tale that global warming alarmists have "hijacked" the political debate despite a "lack of natural disasters" and no global warming "since 1998"? No. Let's review: DRUDGE HEADLINE #1: REPORT: GLOBAL TEMPS 'HAVE NOT RISEN SINCE 1998' This claim has been thoroughly debunked every time it's popped up. The oil-backed global warming denier Dennis Avery first made the claim -- which hinges on the fact that 1998 was an exceptionally warm year (but not the warmest ever) -- in 2006. A …