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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and scientists disagree; a panel of the National Research Council determined last year that the government was using outdated science to determine risks …

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Law-mowers

Republicans in Congress Try to Undermine California's Environmental Laws Many Republicans argue that the federal government should leave more decisions to the states, but these days they're abandoning their states' rights talk when it comes to California -- and the state's environment could suffer as a result. The GOP-controlled Congress is trying to undermine a number of new California laws and regulations that are stricter than national rules, including environmental measures. For example, a provision tacked onto a spending bill in the Senate would block California from imposing tough antipollution rules on small outdoor engines, such as those in lawnmowers. …

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Enviros berate Bush apologist for inaccurate L.A. Times op-ed

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times published an editorial by the widely known environmental gadfly Gregg Easterbrook -- a senior editor at the New Republic and a fellow at the Brookings Institution -- who set out to roast (or rather deep-fry) critics of the Bush administration's environmental record. He dismissed charges made by everyone from the Natural Resources Defense Council to Sen. James Jeffords (I-Vt.) as "baloney -- baloney being rolled and deep-fried with cheese for purposes of partisan political bashing and fund-raising." Bush communing with nature. Photo: White House. While Easterbrook scores a few points for entertaining analogies, he …

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Air Bawl

States Tighten Air Rules in the Wake of Federal Loosening A number of states and cities are thumbing their noses at the Bush administration's moves to weaken air-pollution rules by imposing their own stricter regulations. Georgia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and other states, as well as a few cities, announced yesterday that they are making or seriously considering plans to retain requirements that old industrial plants install state-of-the-art emissions-control technology before increasing production, though the federal government axed such requirements on a national level in August. Outgoing California Gov. Gray Davis (D) has already signed a bill that will keep …

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Umbra on reversing the tide

Dear Umbra, I can't take it! A body-building actor was just elected governor of my state! I'm going to go mad! Then my friend said, "Don't get mad, get even." You've got to help me -- California is crazy, but at least we've been setting the standard on some environmental issues. (Not all of them, I know, but quite a few.) I've never believed that letters or marching or such things help, but now I'll do anything. Anything! If next year's presidential election goes like this, I'll really lose it. Tell me what to do. Help me, Obi-Wan! SamBakersfield, Calif. …

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Links and info on candidates, voting, and other election intrigue

  Register to Vote Meet the Candidates What the Polls Say Additional Resources Register to Vote Get off your duff and register to vote! Think you've got this one in the bag? Better check twice. Have you moved since the last time you sallied poll-ward? Changed your name? Switched your party of choice? Are you darn near positive that all of your friends, family members, colleagues, and bowling partners are registered -- er, well, at least the Earth-lovin' ones? Take care of it all at YourVoteMatters.org, where you can register to vote in any of the 50 states or D.C., …

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A look at state and local races and rumblings around the U.S.

Click on the map to read about each region. All politics are local, as the saying goes -- and so in this section of Grist's special edition on elections and the environment, we turn our attention away from the federal government to describe some of the ways the environment has made it onto the ballot at the state and local levels in 2003, and ways it's likely to crop up in 2004. From the effort to reelect Salt Lake City's Ross "Rocky" Anderson -- one of the nation's greenest mayors -- to the standoff between a Native American tribe and …

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Lessons from the Great Lakes on how enviros can win votes and influence people

Bush chats up Michiganders in Monroe. Photo: White House. President Bush swooped into Monroe, Mich., in mid-September for an appearance at one of the largest and most polluting coal-fired power plants in the world. As an exploration of his ideas about environmental policy, the visit was completely baffling. (Why go to such a filthy facility? Why sing the praises of a piece of legislation -- the Clean Air Act -- that his administration has made every effort to weaken?) But as a campaign stop, the Monroe visit made perfect sense. Michigan is an important swing state at the political and …

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Can a beat-Bush effort yield a progressive coalition with staying power?

Is Bush digging his political grave with enviro rollbacks? Photo: White House. Who says George W. Bush never did anything for the great outdoors? His running for reelection could be the best thing to happen to the U.S. environmental movement in years. The threat of four more years of Bush has provoked a significant rethinking of the movement's tactics, according to interviews with movement leaders, their financial supporters, and political advisers. Not only has it energized activists like never before, it has also produced unprecedented expressions of unity within the movement and beyond -- specifically with labor unions, feminist organizations, …

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A Grist interview with Democratic presidential contender Joe Lieberman

Joe cool. Photo: Lieberman for President Search through the recent archive of Democratic presidential candidate and Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman's press releases, and here's a sampling of what you'll see: "Lieberman Calls for [EPA Administrator Christie] Whitman to Resign in Protest." "Lieberman, McCain Offer Plan Harnessing Market Forces to Counter Global Warming." "Lieberman, Clinton Demand Answers From White House on Suppression of Public Health Information on Ground Zero Air Quality." Regularly since President Bush took office, Lieberman has been teaming up with senators on both sides of the aisle to issue direct challenges to the administration on its environmental rollbacks, …

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