Politics

Taking the 'fund' out of Superfund

New report says federal cleanup program wasting away

Image reprinted with permission from the Center for Public Integrity. A drop-off in both government action and funding has all but stopped the push to clean up America’s most toxic sites, posing health and environmental threats all over the country, according to a comprehensive series of reports released last week by the Center for Public Integrity. Under the Bush administration, the amount of money budgeted to clean up these sites has plummeted and cleanup has stagnated, while the list of sites that need environmental remediation continues to grow. The detailed report chronicles the government’s failure to clean up our country’s …

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New book examines Army Corps ruling

Attention brains: I am contractually obligated, by virtue of having been born, to mention that my father has helped put out a book of essays that look at the Supreme Court’s ruling last year on the Army Corps of Engineers and the Clean Water Act, and at the future of federal wetlands protection. The five essays are by lawyer and scholar types who were involved in the case, so they ain’t just whistlin’ about Dixie. The pieces range from dry analyses to more accessible prose (any lawyer who uses the phrase “bibbity bobbity boo” can’t be all bad). They are …

Power, program, and practical considerations: Objectives

How to build a real climate movement

((brightlines_include)) Campaigns and programs crafted to advance the Bright Lines strategy must also fit real world constraints and political realities on the ground, and take account of external roadblocks to effective action. The following objectives address these issues. 1. Tangible risk. Climate change is like world hunger: it's an issue of concern when media attention is high, just as coverage of periodic famines raises concern about world hunger. Most Americans do not see climate change as an immediate or personal risk, yet, like world hunger, they view it as a problem so immense that it is impractical to think that it will ever be solved. NGO relief efforts and international governmental aid are widely supported, but are seen as altruistic, charitable actions. Climate policies and programs now advanced in the U.S. are so small-scale they can only be understood in similar terms, as altruistic and charitable acts like huger relief. Measures like Governor Corzine's initiative in New Jersey, for example, take aim at an intangible, global risk with essentially symbolic action. The problem must be dealt with by establishing the scale of global response and role of the U.S. in advancing a solution, but should also be tackled by defining tangible, local risks. By advancing climate change assessment and remediation, several objectives are achieved:

'Four percent cited the coming end of the world or biblical prophecy, and 2 percent blamed space jun

Poll results!

The NYT has a bucketload of important poll results. Here’s the full poll; here’s the summary: Americans in large bipartisan numbers say the heating of the earth’s atmosphere is having serious effects on the environment now or will soon and think that it is necessary to take immediate steps to reduce its effects, the latest New York Times/CBS News poll finds. Beyond that is a whole series of juicy tidbits. I hardly know where to dip in. Some quotes: Ninety percent of Democrats, 80 percent of independents and 60 percent of Republicans said immediate action was required to curb the …

Netroots, meet climate change policy; climate change policy, netroots

Discuss amongst yourselves

This is heartening: the activist netroots are starting to get serious about figuring out global warming policy. Welcome to the fun, y’all! Stoller comes to a familiar conclusion: carbon tax is preferable to cap and trade. I think he’s a little hard on the latter, but the basic position is sound — and all but universal among non-politicians these days.

Let's all go to the lobby

Exxon Mobil hikes spending, big time

Perhaps fearing the coming crunch of climate and energy legislation, oil giant Exxon Mobil more than doubled their reported lobbying expenditures in 2006 to $14.5 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. This blows their previous year’s total of $7.14 million and next-highest-spender Chevron’s $7.5 million out of the water.

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