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Stephen Hendricks reviews Been Brown so Long It Looked Like Green to Me by Jeffrey St. Clair

He's bad, but is he the baddest? Photo: White House. Ask 10 environmentalists and 9 will tell you George W. Bush has been worse for the planet than Bill Clinton -- and they would be wrong. In their error lies much that is ill in the environmental movement (if "movement" it can be called) and shows how long are the odds against righting the wrongs of the industrial economy. But first, how can the man who would drill in the Arctic and the Rocky Mountain Front, who wants arsenic in your O.J. and snowmobiles in Yellowstone, to whom global warming …

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Dems block anti-enviro Bush judicial nominee, and the conservatives are lovin’ it

When Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) fell seven votes short on Tuesday of forcing a confirmation vote on Bush judicial nominee William G. Myers III -- widely considered the most anti-environment judicial candidate Bush has ever put forward -- it might have seemed like a big blow to the GOP. But Frist and his fellow right-wing Republicans got precisely what they were aiming for. True, environmentalists had every right to call it a major win for their side. "We're thrilled!" said Glenn Sugameli, senior legislative counsel for Earthjustice. "Myers became the seventh lifetime Bush judicial nominee to be officially …

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An excerpt from Boiling Point by Ross Gelbspan

Boiling PointBy Ross Gelbspan,Basic Books, 256 pages, July 2004 Journalist Ross Gelbspan's new book, Boiling Point (out in late July from Basic Books), reveals how politicians, big oil and coal, the media, and even activists have fueled the climate crisis -- and how we might still avert disaster. This excerpt traces what Gelbspan describes as a corrupt relationship between the Bush administration and the fossil-fuel industry. Under the administration of George W. Bush, the White House has become the East Coast branch office of ExxonMobil and Peabody Coal, and climate change has become the preeminent case study of the contamination …

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Reports of pending EPA enforcement actions are, shall we say, premature

Is this power plant in trouble? Nah. Photo: USGS. What's this on the wires? The U.S. EPA is gearing up to prosecute a new batch of new-source review (NSR) cases against polluting power plants? Could it be that the Bushies have suddenly taken a keen interest in enforcing a Clean Air Act rule that they have gone to great lengths to weaken? Not really. The story goes like this: Greenwire reporter Darren Samuelsohn recently got ahold of an EPA document containing a list of 22 electric utilities that in the last five years have allegedly run afoul of NSR by …

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Ray Vaughan, an environmental lawyer, answers questions

Ray Vaughan. With what environmental organization are you affiliated? I am executive director of WildLaw. What does your organization do? What, in a perfect world, would constitute "mission accomplished"? WildLaw is a nonprofit environmental law firm that represents hundreds of community, environmental, and conservation organizations around the country. We work mainly in the Southeast, but occasionally we take cases in other parts of the country or with national scope. For every case that sets a national precedent, there are a thousand special places that need enforcement of the precedent. WildLaw strategically builds legal capacity for the people defending those places. …

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How does John Edwards stack up on the environment?

Edwards and Kerry hit the campaign trail. Photo: Kerry for President. When John Edwards was tapped to be John Kerry's veep last week, everyone interested in ousting Bush erupted into convulsions of praise -- and the enviros were no exception. "An excellent choice that sends a clear message about the need for change and renewed optimism in our nation's leadership for conservation, public health, and other issues important to the American people," said the League of Conservation Voters. "Yet another strong environmental leader [on] the Democratic presidential ticket," said Environment2004. "Sen. Edwards consistently stands up to preserve and strengthen the …

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Bush administration plans to scrap roadless-rule forest protections

Many political observers thought President Bush would lay off the environment during the election season. After all, he faces an opponent with a well-burnished rep as an environmental good boy. Seems they've misunderestimated Dubya yet again. Ann Veneman. Photo: USDA. On Monday, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman announced a Bush administration plan to scrap the hard-won Clinton-era "roadless rule" -- a move that Phil Clapp, president of National Environmental Trust, ranks as "one of the top five biggest attacks on the environment since the Bush administration set foot in the White House, not to mention the single biggest giveaway to the …

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An interview with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., environmental advocate and Bush basher

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Photo: John Chrisitn. He has the distinguished mien, the political brio, and the eloquence of his ancestors, not to mention degrees from Harvard and the University of Virginia School of Law. Yet despite Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s sterling credentials, he's never run for public office, much less held one. That's fine with him, and with his many supporters, who contend that he's likely making more of a difference to American politics from outside the Beltway than he ever could from the inside. Lately Kennedy ranks with Michael Moore, Al Gore, and Al Franken as one of …

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EPA chief Mike Leavitt hits the swing states

Leavitt, alone. Photo: U.S. EPA. Have a look at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Mike Leavitt's calendar over the last several months and you'll notice that it appears to be in lockstep with the Karl Rove playbook. "I'd hardly call it coincidence," said Beth Viola, a leading environmental strategist for the Kerry campaign, "that after the EPA spends nearly four years pandering to industry, all of a sudden Leavitt is waltzing around battleground states in a green mantle -- doling out grant money, announcing new initiatives, threatening industry with enforcement actions, making amends to swing voters like hunters and anglers …

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Frist sides with right-wingers to stymie widely supported sea treaty

How's this for a once-in-a-blue-moon scenario? Six major environmental groups endorse a sweeping international treaty strongly supported by the American Petroleum Institute and other industry groups. Do you sea what I sea? Photo: NOAA. On May 12, top dogs from the Natural Resources Defense Council, National Environmental Trust, Ocean Conservancy, and three other green organizations put their names on a political ad [PDF] published in the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call appealing for ratification of the U.N.'s Law of the Sea treaty -- an international accord that the American Petroleum Institute hails as "important to our efforts to develop domestic …

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