Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Politics

Comments

Brown Out

Two Enviros Named to San Francisco Power Commission in Political Coup A political coup in San Francisco last week led to two environmentalists being named to the city's Public Utilities Commission: former Sierra Club President Adam Werbach and Robin Chiang, an architect specializing in eco-friendly design and construction. San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly was serving as acting mayor for a day while Mayor Willie Brown traveled abroad, and Daly took the opportunity to quietly appoint and swear in Werbach and Chiang. Brown was livid, but he'll have to live with the appointments unless he can convince eight of 11 city …

Read more: Politics

Comments

Under African Sighs

Zimbabwe's Wildlife Suffer Under Political Turmoil Zimbabwe's corrupt and troubled government is not only making life miserable for many of the country's people but also for its once famous populations of elephants, rhinoceroses, and other wild animals. By some estimates, up to two-thirds of animals on Zimbabwe's game farms and wildlife preserves have been killed, including endangered species like painted wild dogs and rhinos. Tourism and limited big-game hunting once brought millions of dollars into the country each year, but the government has confiscated many lands where these activities took place and encouraged squatters and political allies to move in. …

Read more: Politics

Comments

Poor Judgment

Company Warns Poor and Minorities They Will Suffer if N-Plant Is Closed The power company Entergy Nuclear Northeast is warning low-income and minority citizens in New York that more power plants will be built in their neighborhoods if the state's highly controversial Indian Point nuclear power plant is closed. Critics say the move is an inappropriate bid to use race and class in Entergy's ongoing battle to keep Indian Point open, and they excoriated the company for assuming that officials in New York City and Westchester County would approve the construction of more power plants in poor neighborhoods, which are …

Comments

In the Hot Seat

States Sue Federal Government Over Climate Change Responding to a U.S. EPA decision earlier this summer that the agency does not have the authority to regulate carbon dioxide from vehicles and power plants, 12 states filed suit against the federal government yesterday to force the Bush administration to do something about global climate change. The suit alleges that the EPA is ignoring federal studies that demonstrate that climate change is causing "disease, extreme weather, destruction of shoreline, and loss of critical wetlands and estuaries," according to Richard Blumenthal, attorney general of Connecticut, one of the plaintiffs in the case. The …

Read more: Politics

Comments

Chemical Reaction

E.U. Waters Down Chemical Safety Testing Plan In a blow to advocates of environmental and human health, the European Union dramatically narrowed the scope of its plan to require safety testing for tens of thousands of chemicals. The move was motivated primarily by financial concerns, and the narrower plan is expected to save billions of dollars. But the timing -- in the middle of a barrage of criticism of the measure by the Bush administration and the chemical industry -- suggests that other factors were at work as well. Even the watered-down version of the plan is receiving a chilly …

Comments

Okinawan sea life likely to suffer under Navy sonar deal

Every year, scuba divers make tens of thousands of excursions into the waters off Okinawa, Japan, drawn by the spectacular array of sea life on display. Soon, though, that sea life may be blasted out of the water by an unwelcome sonic barrage. The Okinawan coast is not clear. Photo: Jeff Shaw. Almost everywhere in the world except in this patch of ocean, denizens of the deep won a reprieve this month, when a court agreement between environmental organizations and the U.S. Navy limited the military's use of low-frequency active sonar (LFAS). Experts contend that the sonar, which uses high-intensity …

Read more: Politics

Comments

The Bottle Let Me Down

Michigan Looks to Improve Its Recycling Record When it comes to recycling, Michigan lags behind much of the nation, and state lawmakers say it's time to change that. Yesterday, a state Senate task force proposed spending $50 million to establish a recycling program and ban beverage containers from landfills. Funding for the project would come from a $3-per-ton solid waste surcharge, which, lawmakers hope, would also have the effect of discouraging neighboring states -- and particularly nearby Toronto -- from shipping trash to Michigan. The legislation would improve the state's current, unimpressive recycling rate of just 20 percent of solid …

Read more: Living, Politics

Comments

Enviros raise dollars, and dazzle, for the 2004 presidential elections

Last Wednesday, more than 500 well-heeled Beltway Democrats mingled over drinks and crab dip within the stately mahogany-paneled walls of the Old Ebbitt Grill, just yards from the White House, to celebrate the launch of Environment2004 -- a media campaign aiming to shred President Bush's environmental credibility (such as it is) just in time for next year's presidential elections. Heavy hitters from the Clinton administration, including former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and former U.S. EPA Administrator Carol Browner, took the stage to sympathize with their frustrated fellow environmentalists and, more important, call on them to open their pocketbooks. "It was …

Read more: Politics

Comments

Kerry the Day

Kerry Bashes Bush on Environment and Outlines Eco-Plan Senator and presidential contender John Kerry (D-Mass.) came out swinging on the environment yesterday, urging the public to rise up against President Bush's policies on water, land, air, and energy. "George Bush is the kind of politician who would cut down a tree and then climb on the stump that remains and give a speech about conservation," Kerry said. Speaking at the University of New Hampshire, he outlined a six-point environmental plan that includes reducing reliance on foreign oil, playing a leadership role in international climate change negotiations, cleaning up air and …

Read more: Politics

Comments

Sludge Not Lest Ye Be Sludged

Bush Administration Won't Regulate Farm Dioxins Nothing will get in the way of farmers using dioxin-tainted sewage sludge as fertilizer on their crops, thanks to a Bush administration decision announced on Friday. The U.S. EPA declared that it sees no need to regulate dioxins in sewage sludge that is applied to land in the U.S., saying new studies indicate that the practice doesn't pose significant risks to human health or the environment. But many public-health advocates, enviros, and scientists disagree; a panel of the National Research Council determined last year that the government was using outdated science to determine risks …

Read more: Food, Politics