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GM exec defends calling climate change a ‘crock of shit’

A couple weeks back, GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, at a roundtable with reporters, casually mentioned that he thinks global warming is a "crock of shit." (His point was that it makes sense to develop an all-electric vehicle either way.) Lots and lots of people, mainly bloggers, got in a huge uproar about it. Yesterday, Lutz wrote a defiant post on GM's blog addressing the controversy. His point is that it doesn't matter a bit what his personal beliefs are; what matters is what he does, and what GM does. And he claims GM is on the ball: General Motors …

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Companies not following through on pledge to lobby for carbon reduction

Companies participating in the U.S. Climate Action Partnership have pledged to lobby for a mandatory cap on U.S. carbon emissions, but -- and there's always a but -- many of those same corporations are working behind the scenes to undermine greenhouse-gas regulation. Just a few examples: USCAP members General Electric and Caterpillar sit on the board of a group called the Center for Energy & Economic Development, which opposes greenhouse-gas regulations. USCAP member Duke Energy has joined notorious coal lobbying group Americans for Balanced Energy Choices. Eight USCAP members sit on the board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which …

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French automaker and waste-management biz team up to recycle cars

French automaker Renault has announced that it will team up with waste-management company Sita to develop end-of-life recycling for automobiles. A European Union directive requires new vehicles to be 95 percent recyclable by 2015, as compared to 85 percent now.

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USCRAP

The media was all abuzz when a bunch of big corporations got together to form USCAP, a coalition supporting the implementation of a mandatory cap on carbon emissions in the U.S. Why, big business has gone green! So the headlines said. However, as a great BusinessWeek story today explains, many of those same companies are working hard behind the scenes to thwart or neuter the very efforts USCAP claims to support. Trust but verify, as they say.

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Fidel Castro’s resignation may boost biofuels in Cuba

Fidel Castro's step down after 49 years as Cuba's leader may have implications for biofuels in the country. Castro was outspokenly critical of U.S. biofuel policy, and blocked a proposed expansion by ag giant Archer Daniels Midland into Cuba in the 1990s. But Fidel's brother Raul, who will assume leadership of Cuba, is a biofuels supporter. Industry analysts have projected that Cuba has the potential to produce up to 3.2 billion gallons of sugar-cane ethanol per year, and the country recently began overhauling its 17 ethanol refineries. Some see a Brazil -- with less internal demand for biofuels, and thus …

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Mining CEO so insinuated in W. Va. politics that they can’t find judges to hear his case

So, you may recall that loathsome mountaintop-removal mining outfit Massey was hit with a $50 million judgment a while back. They appealed it up to the W. Va. Supreme Court, which overturned it. Later, it turned out that Massey CEO Don Blankenship (an evil bastard) had been photographed frolicking with one of the judges in Monte Carlo, accompanied by, um, female consorts. So that judge dropped out of the case. Now the WSJ brings word that another judge is recusing himself -- Justice Larry Starcher had criticized Massey and Blankenship publicly, so Blankenship bullied him off the case. Said Starcher: …

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CBS to pay $31 million to clean up Indiana Superfund sites

The media giant CBS has agreed to pay $31 million to clean up six ultra-polluted Superfund sites around Bloomington, Ind. CBS is the corporate successor of Westinghouse, which ran industrial operations in the area that polluted streams and groundwater with high concentrations of PCBs. An agreement to clean up the contamination in the 1990s was abandoned; CBS has been negotiating another deal with the state and U.S. EPA ever since. "The citizens of Bloomington have lived for too long with fish advisories because of the high concentrations of PCBs in fish in local streams," said the EPA's Mary Gade. "The …

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How do we define the green-job economy?

Photo: iStockphoto If my inbox and recent headlines are any indication, the green jobs bandwagon is rolling on jet fuel and it's "game on" for labor market consultants. Having announced the imminent arrival of the green economy, we're scrambling to define exactly what that means and to generate hard data about job descriptions, training requirements, hiring rates, salaries, and career paths. These days, it seems like everyone is planning a "green jobs" study -- but each will provide a much-needed service. These studies are helping employers, policymakers, and educators sort out hype from reality so that we can provide clearer …

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NYC mayor says he’ll veto an electronics-recycling bill

The New York City Council overwhelmingly passed a bill last Wednesday that would require electronics manufacturers to take back products for recycling. But on Friday, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he'll veto it -- and that if his veto is overridden, he'll choose not to enforce the law. The council estimates that more than 25,000 tons of TVs, computers, cameras, and other products are thrown out by NYC residents each year. Bloomberg, generally a greenish kinda guy, admitted that e-waste is a concern, but likened requiring manufacturers to take back electronics to publishers being responsible for readers recycling newspapers. Councilman …