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Errorism

New Report Charges Bush Administration with Neglecting 9/11 Air Safety The Bush administration showed "reckless disregard" for public safety after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 by failing to warn New Yorkers about the dangers of breathing the polluted air around the Twin Towers site, says a new Sierra Club report. According to the report: The Bush administration failed to warn the public about long-understood dangers of breathing air filled with toxics, concrete, and glass fibers after building demolitions; it failed on up to a dozen occasions to change public-safety assurances after it became clear people were getting sick; and it …

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An interview with Terry Tamminen, Schwarzenegger’s top enviro official

Terry Tamminen. Terry Tamminen, secretary of California's Environmental Protection Agency, may hold the most powerful environmental job in the U.S. outside of Washington, D.C. Not only is California the world's fifth-largest economy, it has long been an environmental trendsetter, pioneering standards in automobile regulation and alternative-energy development that have spread across the nation and around the world. But Tamminen works for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), whose fondness for gas-guzzling Hummers leaves some environmentalists skeptical of his assurances about protecting California's environment. Grist sent environmental author and reporter Mark Hertsgaard to question the 52-year-old Tamminen about how he and Schwarzenegger plan …

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Grand Old Protest

Activists Divided Over Protest Tactics at GOP Convention Many enviros will be among the hundreds of thousands of protesters flooding into New York City at the end of the month to protest the Republican National Convention -- or rather, to protest environmental rollbacks, corporate cronyism, tax cuts for the rich, indifference to poverty, abortion restrictions, the Iraq war, abrogation of civil liberties, racism, and the annoying adhesive strips on new compact discs (they're impossible to fully remove!). Some veteran activists, however, are concerned about the stated intentions of some radical types to engage in property destruction and violence; they worry …

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Bush administration cites “national security” as reason to skirt enviro rules

What are the enviro impacts of a construction project on the U.S.-Mexico border? Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Bush administration has proposed yet another list of environmental sacrifices that it believes America should make for the War on Terror. Last year, President Bush pushed through legislation that exempts military training bases from cornerstone environmental protections mandated by the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act, in the name of "military readiness." Despite howls of protest from the environmental community and government officials alike -- the unprecedented, sweeping wartime request was unaccompanied by any evidence that America's military …

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Bush administration proposal would give BLM more incentive to sell off public lands

Your red rocks, in Utah. Photo: BLM. The old Woody Guthrie ballad "This Land Is Your Land" has been reinterpreted in more ways than one recently. There was the hilarious campaign parody cartoon that exploded virally throughout the Internet last month, in which the "liberal wiener" (John Kerry) and "right-wing nut job" (George W. Bush) duke it out to an adulterated "This Land" soundtrack. Then, this week at the Department of Interior, there was a far subtler reinterpretation of the Guthrie anthem -- a reminder that while there are some 261 million acres of public land in America (not counting …

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Illinois Senate candidate Barack Obama’s got green cred

Barack Obama. Photo: David Katz/Obama for Illinois. As if America needs one more reason to fall in love with Barack Obama. Beyond the unabashed idealism, stirring oratory skills, touching life story, and knee-buckling smile that have made this candidate for Illinois' open Senate seat the new beau ideal of progressive politics, it so happens that this guy is a bona fide, card-carrying, bleeding-heart greenie. And it's not as though Muckraker didn't rifle through his environmental record going back more than a decade to try to find something off-kilter -- some skeleton in the closet, some flaw to make him a …

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A bold lawsuit may have utilities reconsidering their fight against regs

A coal-fired power plant. Photo: U.S. Geological Survey. It may have sounded like the understatement of the year when a lawsuit was filed last week against five major U.S. energy companies, alleged to be among the biggest global-warming culprits in the nation, on the legal grounds that they're causing a "public nuisance." In reality it may have been one of the gutsiest legal maneuvers the U.S. has ever seen on climate change -- and some observers say it could have the strange side effect of encouraging energy companies to ask the feds for mandatory emissions caps. Last Wednesday, the chief …

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Environmentalism takes the stage at the Democratic National Convention

Where it's all goin' down. Photo: DNC. Environmentalism is descending on the Democratic National Convention this week in the form of biodegradable balloons and recycled confetti -- and that's just the beginning. All of the electricity powering the festivities is coming from renewable sources or an onsite fuel-cell generator. Local Massachusetts farms are supplying food for a handful of the convention events, and leftovers are being donated or composted. Greenhouse-gas credits will offset the carbon-dioxide emissions generated by convention delegates as they travel to and from Boston, and hybrid gas-electric buses are shuttling people between events. This is the handiwork …

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Brown and Out

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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